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travis

Star One

It is a silly place…

Star OneSue: This better be good.

Yes, after weeks of teasing we are finally on our way to Star One. It says so in the title.

Sue: Thank **** for that. Oh, I wanted Terry to come back for the season finale. I’m not sure about this Boucher guy.

Me: It’s pronounced Boucher.

Sue: Whatever.

The episode begins with a disaster in space. And that’s just the special effects.

Sue: I feel like I’m listening to the shipping forecast.

A passenger cruiser and a transport ship collide, killing thousands of innocent civilians.

Sue: Oh dear, that was terrible. Have they run out of money?

When Servalan is briefed about the accident, she’s given more bad news to deal with.

Durkim: Climate control has gone disastrously wrong on all the frontier worlds.

Sue: Every planet in the galaxy has been turned into a shit hole. Not that we’ll ever be able to tell the difference. They always go to shit holes. And how will they survive without their tropical fruit? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Star OneDurkim believes that Star One may have gone tits up. But if that’s true, Servalan can’t send in any engineers to fix it.

Servalan: No one knows where Star One is! No one at all!

Me: Told you.

Sue: I knew this would happen. That’s one hell of a design flaw. Anyway, lots of people know where Star One is: Blake, Travis, that jaundiced jester. Everybody knows!

And then Sue has a brainwave.

Sue: I know what’s going to happen. Blake will fix Star One and he’ll save the Federation, because it’s either that or soaking wet planets, space ships dropping out of the sky, and no pineapples. Blake will do the right thing for the wrong people. It’ll be really ironic, just you wait and see.

Blake is still searching for Star One.

Jenna: These coordinates are not precise enough.

Sue: Really? They sounded pretty precise to me last week. Don’t tell me that this is going to be another episode where they have to look for the bloody place. I bet this episode ends just as they find it. Typical!

Avon is in a foul mood.

Star OneAvon: When Star One is gone it is finished, Blake. And I want it finished. I want it over and done with. I want to be free.

Cally: But you are free now, Avon.

Avon: I want to be free of him.

Sue: Bloody hell. This is a bit tense. And brilliant.

Blake wants to blow Star One up.

Sue: But won’t blowing up Star One make things worse? What about the pineapples? He hasn’t thought this through.

Oh yes he has.

Cally: Many, many people will die without Star One.

Blake: I know.

Sue: Think of the pineapples!

But Blake won’t listen.

Blake: We have to win. It’s the only way I can be sure that I was right.

Sue: What a twat. It’s always about him, isn’t it. He’s worse than Servalan!

Star OneWe cut to deep space, where a camera pans slowly right, revealing…

Sue: Star One! At last!

Me: That isn’t Star One.

Sue: Oh, it’s Servalan’s house. They had me going there for a second.

Servalan has a lot on her plate. There’s a coup to organise for a start.

Servalan: Space Command no longer recognises the authority of the President or the Council.

Sue: She’s gone rogue. Well, even more rogue than usual. She’s gone roguer.

Servalan orders Durkim to find Star One.

Durkim: There isn’t enough data. I can’t even guess where Star One is.

Me: He’s got about as much hope of finding Star One as I have of getting hold of GoDaddy’s technical support.

Servalan believes that somebody is up to no good on Star One.

Sue: It’s obviously Travis. Hasn’t she worked that out yet? They mustn’t be speaking to each other this week.

Servalan: I will not be President of a ruined empire.

Sue: You can’t tell me that Maggie Thatcher didn’t watch Blake’s 7. Of course she bloody did!

Star OneMeanwhile, on Star One – yes, Star bloody One! – something has gone terribly wrong.

Sue: David Tennant’s ugly brother has been a very naughty boy. And where’s Travis? He must be behind this.

Sue likes the look of Star One.

Sue: The sets are great. They actually spent some money on the place. It reminds me of the Big Brother house.

The Liberator approaches a planet orbiting a dying star.

Sue: The Liberator never looks the same to me. One minute it looks like it’s made from plastic, then wood, and now it looks like it’s made from solid metal. I like the metal one.

Blake: Maximum scan, Cally. Look for anything unusual or out of place, sudden temperature variation, anything. They’re bound to have left some clue as to where they put that installation.

Sue: You could always ask Orac. Just a thought.

Avon notices that the area has been seeded with mines designed to keep any visitors from the nearby Andromeda galaxy at bay.

Blake: That must be the biggest antimatter minefield ever put together.

Sue: How would a minefield in space work? Couldn’t you just go around it? Or over it? Or under it? Seems a bit odd to me.

Star OneMeanwhile, a Star One technician named Lurena realises that she is the lone survivor in a battle against alien body snatchers.

Sue: How did the baddies know where Star One was? I bet it’s Travis. He’s doing a Master and he’s working with the aliens. I bet they betray him. And if there really is a minefield around Star One, how did this lot get in?

Jenna is worried that Blake might be rushing into things.

Avon: Blake is an idealist, Jenna. He cannot afford to think.

Sue: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a programme undermine its lead character as much as this one does. It’s incredible, really.

Blake, Avon and Cally teleport to the planet below.

Sue: Oh look, it’s a shit hole. Now there’s a surprise.

Blake and Jenna enter Star One where they are met by the alien invaders. Avon finds himself outside as a space craft approaches his location. Sue can’t stop biting her nails.

Sue: It’s really good, this. Sorry. I don’t know what else to say.

Jenna: Orac, operate the teleport as instructed.

Sue: Orac is just a glorified doorman these days. What a waste.

The aliens have mistaken Blake for Travis, even though he doesn’t look anything like him.

An Elderly David Walliams: And the eye patch, what happened to that?

Star OneSue: Don’t worry about that. Travis has this habit of not looking like Travis. You get used to it. Sort of.

Speaking of Travis, guess who’s skulking around outside? Go on, guess!

Sue: Come on, Avon, shoot him in the face! What are you waiting for? You wanted to do it last week and nothing’s changed. Stop chatting to him and kill him! Oh, it makes me so mad.

Avon: Talk or scream, Travis, the choice is yours.

Sue: He usually does both at the same time. It’s really annoying.

Lurena mistakes Avon for an alien and Travis escapes during the confusion. But not before he whacks Avon over the head with his Obi-Wan Kenobi cloak.

Sue: This is what happens when you don’t shoot Travis in the face.

Avon: Damn!

Sue: The next time you see him, SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE!

Star OneAvon shoots an alien impostor in the chest instead.

Me: It’s the GP from Jam.

Sue: I don’t even know what that means. Although he does look like he’s made from jam. Look at all that blood!

The alien transforms into a mushy puddle of snot.

Avon: They’d be difficult to love.

Sue: Oh, I don’t know. If one of them took over Avon’s body, I think I’d manage.

Me: I am sitting right here, you know.

The alien invasion fleet enters the Liberator‘s detector range.

Me: Rumour has it that Terry Nation wanted the Daleks to be the aliens.

Sue: Really? That would have been brilliant. Terry was years ahead of his time to come up with a crossover idea like that. Terry could have been the 1970s Joss Whedon.

Travis shoots Blake with his finger. Blake goes down hard.

Me: Blake’s dead.

Sue: Don’t be silly. (pause) Is he? Is he really?

Me Yes. Avon takes over now.

Sue: Don’t be ridiculous. I wish!

Me: I’m not joking!

Sue: I don’t believe you. You can’t kill Blake; his name is in the title of the programme.

Star OneBlake is still lying motionless on the floor.

Me: See! He’s definitely dead. Sad, isn’t it?

Sue: Well if he is dead – and I don’t think he is – I can’t say that I’m disappointed. What a shit, pointless death. He couldn’t even die properly. (pause) And he isn’t dead.

The alien fleet moves closer.

Sue: Just think how much better this would be with the Daleks in it.

Me: You’re right. Some things could be better with the Daleks.

Sue: There’s no consistency in the design of these alien ships. It looks like a model maker dumped a drawer of spare parts onto the floor. They’ve definitely run out of money.

Back on the Liberator, Jenna decides to warn Servalan about the impending alien invasion.

Sue: Is Jenna reading her lines off a cue card? I think she is, you know. And she’s doing it really badly, too. Oh dear.

Travis betrays humanity.

Sue: The mad ****.

Star OneTravis is shot in the back!

Me: Oh look, Blake isn’t really dead.

Sue: I knew it! You can’t kill Blake. Vila, yes. Blake, definitely not.

Me: WHAT?

Blake: Is Travis dead?

Avon shoots Travis again and the leathered loon falls head first into the health and safety nightmare that takes up half the room.

Avon: He is now.

Sue: He’ll be back.

Me: He won’t.

Sue: Yeah, like I’m going to believe you.

A little later, when we watch the Ballard Of Travis II extra on the DVD, and when that scene is played out in slow-motion, Travis bleeds sand. Actual sand. This just convinces Sue that this Travis isn’t the real Travis. Bless her.

She is right about one thing, though.

Blake: We must warn the Federation!

Sue: I knew it. I can see where this is going: in the next series, Blake and Servalan will team up to kill all the aliens. It’s obvious.

Star OneThere’s just one problem: Blake has already primed Star One to explode.

Cally: It’s too late!

Cally and Avon race around Star One, gathering up the bombs. Sue is rapidly running out of nails to bite.

Blake: There’s another explosive charge. They don’t know about it. I’ve got to get it out! I put it in section four on one of the panels.

Lurena rushes off to find the bomb, but when she arrives in section four, she can’t find it.

Sue: He could have been more specific! There are panels everywhere! Argh!

Lurena eventually finds the bomb, just as the aliens find her.

Sue: If only these bombs came with an off-switch. What a shame.

KABOOM!

Sue: They’ll never taste another pineapple again. What a massive cock-up.

When our heroes return to the Liberator, Avon decides to hold back the alien invasion fleet until the Federation’s reinforcements can arrive, hours from now.

Star OneJenna: Why, Avon?

Avon: Why not?

Sue: Brilliant. I knew that Avon would save the day. Avon is so cool.

Avon: Zen, put up the force wall.

Sue: This is what I’ve been waiting for. A big fight in space. Yes!

Blake discharges himself from the medical unit to see if he can help. He can’t. But before he goes back to bed, he has a message for Avon:

Blake: Avon, for what it is worth, I have always trusted you, from the very beginning.

Sue: Aww, that was really sweet. But Blake is completely useless. Is he really that ill that he can’t sit there and press the odd button to help get them out of this mess? What a twat.

Vila turns down the lighting on the flight deck, which creates a nice and cozy ‘we’re all about to die’ ambience before the battle commences.

Sue: These aliens don’t look that threatening to me. They look like a right shambles. The Liberator can take this lot easily. I mean, who are they?

Tension is etched into the faces of the crew. Except for Cally. Cally looks bemused. Oh, and Blake. Blake is probably lying in bed somewhere, reading a magazine and eating grapes.

Star OneAvon: Fire!

Cue credits.

Sue: No! Wait… But… What? You can’t end it there!

Sue is stunned.

Sue: I’m not having that. Put the next episode on.

Me: No.

The Score:

Sue: That was very good. Things seemed to happen for a change, the direction was pretty good, the sets looked great, and the actors didn’t annoy me. Oh, and Avon kicked arse. Big time. But there were a few things that irritated me. Like, when did Travis find the time to organise this big alien invasion? And how did he find them? And why? That seemed a bit far-fetched and out-of-the-blue. One minute Blake’s fighting the Federation and now this lot turn up. And the alien ships weren’t threatening enough. Now, if they’d been the Daleks, that would have been a completely different story. Now stick the next one on.

Me: No!

8/10

Next Time:

Sue will reflect on Series 2 on Wednesday April 30th. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask her, please send it here. The best question will win a signed copy of our book. The deadline for questions is Monday April 28th.

Series 3 will commence on Friday May 2nd, so there’s plenty of time for you to catch up with the series if you’ve fallen behind.

And please remember that spoilers in the comments will not be tolerated. Thanks.

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Next

The Keeper

Shine like thunder, cry like rain…

The KeeperThis week’s mission seems straightforward enough: steal a thong from a Goth.

Jenna: Lurgen’s brain print is on a thong around a chief’s neck. That’s what Docholli said.

Sue: It could be a lot worse, the chief could be wearing his thong ‘you know where’.

This is all part of a much bigger mission to find and destroy Star One, although Avon is having second thoughts about the destroying it part.

Avon: Through Star One we could control everything. The Federation could belong to us.

Sue: They can barely run a space ship together so running a galaxy is probably beyond their capabilities. And think of all the hours they’d have to put in.

Blake, Jenna and Vila prepare to teleport to the planet Goth.

Cally: There are noxious gases. Anyone who lives above ground will die sooner or later from toxic lung infections.

Sue: Put some bloody helmets on then!

As soon as he arrives on the planet, Blake gulps down the air.

Sue: What is he playing at? Cally just told him that breathing the air will kill him. Blake’s definitely got a death wish.

The Goths emerge from their caves.

The KeeperSue: Oh no. I really hate medieval Sci-Fi. It really gets on my tits.

Me: You were a Goth once, weren’t you?

Sue: I was into The Sisters of Mercy for a couple of months in the early eighties, yes.

Back on the Liberator, Avon believes that he’s spotted Travis’ pursuit ship.

Avon: This is our chance to finish off Travis. He is at our mercy.

Sue: Yeah, cos you’ve never an opportunity to kill him before, and you wouldn’t want to miss your chance because that would be stupid.

When Cally tries to persuade Avon to leave Travis well alone, he barks the co-ordinates of the Federation ship back at her.

Avon: ZERO-SEVEN-THREE!

Sue: Someone got out on the wrong side of the bed this morning. At least the director knows what a focus pull is. That gives me some hope for this episode.

Blake’s team are set upon by Goths.

Sue: Are you sure they’re Goths? They look like ZZ Top fans to me.

Me: They’re based on the Visigoths.

Sue: So they’re Goths from the planet Goth who just happen to look like Goths. Bit of a coincidence, don’t you think?

Vila almost avoids capture, but a rogue sneeze gives him away. Sue does her best impression of a parping trombone as the loveable thief falls into the Goths’ hands.

Sue: It’s like Game of Thrones but with fewer weddings.

The KeeperForget about that. Avon is about to kill Travis. Oh yes he is!

Avon: Goodbye, Travis.

Avon presses a button and the Federation ship explodes.

Sue: Yeah, right. Avon couldn’t even be bothered to check whether Travis was on the ship or not. For all he knows, a Space Vampire could have been flying that space ship. Don’t get me wrong, I want Travis to be dead just as much as the next person, but he isn’t.

When Avon returns for his comrades, Blake teleports back to the ship alone.

Blake: Where the hell were you?

Avon: We just got Travis for you.

Blake: What?!

Sue: (as Blake) But I loved Travis! I won’t be able to live without him following me around the galaxy in those tight leather trousers of his. Noooooo!

Me: Please, stop it.

On the planet Goth, a shouty chief named Gola is entertained by his fool.

Sue: Nice yurt.

The KeeperThe chief is joined by a familiar face.

Sue: Oh look, it’s Travis. What a surprise. It was so obvious that Travis wasn’t dead, the director didn’t even bother to surprise us. Travis simply strolled into the wide shot. He didn’t even get a close-up, that’s how shocking this is.

Gola has the hots for Jenna.

Gola: A beautiful woman. Indeed she is so.

Sue: Pervy git.

Meanwhile, in another yurt somewhere on Goth…

Sue: Right, so Servalan and Travis are at it again. One minute she wants to blow his arm off, the next minute she wants to blow –

Me: Stop it.

Travis attempts to contact his pursuit ship with the galaxy’s largest mobile phone.

Sue: I bet he can’t get Candy Crush Saga on that.

Travis has his sights firmly fixed on Star One.

Travis: Star One is the computer control center. It controls the climate on more than two hundred worlds. Communications, security, food production – it controls them all. It is the key to our very lives.

Sue: Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. The Federation aren’t very bright, are they.

The KeeperAnd then Sue makes a startling assessment:

Sue: When you think about it, Avon and Travis aren’t that different from one another. They both want the same thing at the end of the day. Actually, I think Avon and Servalan would make a great team. I could see them ruling the universe together. Yes, maybe they will team up and Blake will have to stop them. That’s what I’d do if I was in charge of Blake’s 7: I’d replace Travis with Avon. Simple.

Back on the Liberator, Zen detects a Federation ship leaving Goth.

Avon: That must be Servalan.

Sue: Avon is bloody useless when it comes to the ‘guess who’s flying the ship’ game.

Avon tells Cally to intercept the ship, thereby repeating the same mistake he made just a few minutes ago.

Sue: He really doesn’t give a shit about Blake.

Back on Goth, Blake rescues a rival chieftain from certain death.

Sue: Bloody hell! Blake did something vaguely heroic for a change.

Rod: My name is Rod. Greetings.

Sue: A Goth named Rodney! I’ve seen everything now.

Gola attempts to impress Jenna with his warrior ways.

Gola: The Federation means nothing to me. I live as my ancestors have lived. We are a warrior people! We fight to live and we live to fight!

Sue: Does this guy get all the jobs that Brian Blessed turns down?

I’m sorry to report that Sue cheered when Gola slapped Vila across the face.

The KeeperSue: You made me dress as this jester, once.

Me: Erm…

Sue: You must remember. Marco Polo.

Me: Oh God, yes. The time I made you cosplay as Tutte Lemkow. You’ll never let me forget that, will you. I said I was sorry. Anyway, that isn’t Tutte Lemkow; he just looks like him.

Sue: Well, just so you know, I’m not dressing up as him as well.

Me: What about Jenna?

Sue: Don’t push it.

Jenna spends some quality time with Gola’s sister, Tara.

Sue: At least Jenna got off the ship for a few hours. True, she’s about to be raped, but at least she got some fresh air. Actually, on second thoughts, she didn’t even get that. Poor Jenna.

Tara: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ETC.

Sue: I’ll have what she’s having.

Gola wants to pair-bond so Jenna lunges for his thong.

Sue: Just get him drunk, pinch his thong, and then teleport out of there – job’s a good ‘un. But I’d get a move on if I were you; you don’t want to end up with the wrong thong.

The KeeperDown in the cells, Blake makes contact with a hysterical old man.

Sue: It’s… It’s… It’s Monty Python!

Meanwhile, Servalan threatens Gola with the full might of the Federation while Jenna and Vila watch from the sidelines.

Sue: Servalan didn’t say hello to two of her greatest enemies. Either we’ve missed an important scene or the writer doesn’t give a shit about these characters.

The fool drops Vila in the shit and the poor sod is dragged off to the cells.

Sue: His screams should be getting quieter as he leaves the set but they’re getting louder and louder. He’s just standing behind that flat, shouting. He’s giving me a headache.

Blake finds Vila behind bars.

Blake: Is Jenna all right?

Vila: She’s pair-bonding with the chief.

Blake: Good.

Sue: EH?

The KeeperCould it be that Jenna is falling for Gola’s charms?

Sue: She’s faking it. And it isn’t the only thing she’ll be faking tonight if this goes the way I think it’s going.

Gola’s sister delights in telling her brother that he’s destined to die.

Sue: She’s the best thing in this story by a mile.

Vila is released from the cells and told to act the fool.

Sue: Vila’s found his true vocation in life. It’s as if this episode was made for him. Actually, do you know what this episode really needs?

Me: Tell me.

Sue: More Avon. Where the hell is he?

The KeeperRod and Gola fight to the death with spiky things on their hands.

Sue: So you don’t have to stab anyone with that thing, you just point it at the other person and scream. Is that how it works? Because if it doesn’t work like that, this fight is a bit shit.

Derek Martinus’ hand-held camera work is singled out for praise, but this doesn’t last very long.

Sue: The director is giving it a bloody good go, but the stunt choreography is a bit shit. And when did Blake decide to walk around with a dead fox draped over his shoulder? What’s that all about?

Gola wins the battle but he loses the war. His victory chalice is poisoned and he falls to the floor.

Jenna: Gola!

Sue: Why is Jenna upset that the man who was about to rape her has dropped dead? I thought she’d be relieved. That’s very weird.

When Blake and Jenna discover that neither Rodney nor Gola are the eponymous Keeper, Tara says it’s probably their dad who’s been banged up in the cells below.

The KeeperTara: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ETC.

Sue: The vapours must be their version of laughing gas.

Blake reaches the old man, but it’s too late: Travis did a runner with Star One’s co-ordinates ages ago.

Sue: Travis outplayed them all. And Travis is shit, so what does that make Blake?

The old man is on death’s door.

Sue: That guy has been down there for years. If he dies the same day that Blake needs to speak to him, I won’t be very happy.

The old man dies.

Sue: He was perfectly fine five minutes ago! That’s lazy scriptwriting. They didn’t even shoot him first.

However, all is not lost because Lurgen implanted Star One’s co-ordinates in the fool’s brain.

Fool: The location of Star One is at grid reference C one-seven-three-two-zero in the eleventh sector…

Blake: The fool to keep a secret that Lurgen never wanted in the first place.

The KeeperSue: But why he would give him this big secret if he didn’t want anybody to know about it? That’s just asking for trouble. I’m not convinced. It was just a way to string out another bloody episode.

Blake and the gang return to the Liberator with their prize.

Sue: Quick! Write it down before you forget it.

Avon: Another few seconds and I would have left you, Blake.

Sue: I’m surprised Blake didn’t punch his lights out after everything Avon’s done today. Naughty Avon.

Jenna: And on, with luck, to Star One.

Cue credits.

Sue: What’s the next episode called, Neil?

Me: Star One, love.

Sue: Thank **** for that.

The Score:

Sue: It was all right, I suppose. Nothing much happened. Avon was hardly in it again. Blake was bloody useless again. They mentioned Star One a lot again. Do you want me to go on?

Me: Not really.

Sue: OK, so the old woman made me laugh, the direction was a little better than usual, Jenna got to leave the ship for a quick flirt, and Travis wasn’t in it long enough to annoy me. But at the end of the day, that episode was just more filler. I can’t wait for Star One. Can we watch it now, please?

Me: No.

4/10

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailer DEFINITELY includes spoilers for the next episode. Please proceed with caution.

The next update will be published on Wednesday. Thanks.

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Next

Gambit

Place your bets now…

I wanted Sue’s brother to watch this episode with us.

Gary: I don’t even know what Blake’s 7 is, Neil. And after what happened last time with Doctor Who, I think I’ll give it a miss, thanks.

Sue: Oh go on, Gary. You might enjoy it. And if we’re really lucky, we’ll see a man with a pert bum in tight leather trousers. Honest.

He’s tempted.

Gary: No thanks, I’m off to the Bingo.

Oh well. Maybe next time.

GambitSue: So is this episode set in a Gentlemen’s Club in Soho? What time do the strippers come on?

There’s a lot for Sue to take in, although the name ‘Robert Holmes’ in the titles cushions the jolt.

Sue: So we’ve got an elderly Patrick Troughton, Travis in a cowboy hat, and 1940s gangsters. It’s different, I’ll give it that.

Blake, Cally and Jenna prepare to teleport to Freedom City, where the grass isn’t green and the girls ain’t pretty.

Sue: Cally is dressed as a Princess Leia this week; Jenna looks like she’s going to a funeral.

Our heroes are searching for a cyber surgeon named Docholli; he’s the only person alive who knows where Star One is.

Sue: If Star One isn’t in this episode, Neil, I won’t be happy. Has anybody asked Orac where Star One is?

Me: I already told you: nobody knows where Star One is. No one at all!

Sue: That’s a bit silly. What if it breaks down? Where do you send the plumbers?

GambitFreedom City’s floor show is about to start. I brace myself.

Sue: Oh look, it’s Bette Davies meets Fanny Craddock on Britain’s Got Talent. I love her glamorous walking stick. I would definitely put her through to the live finals.

The Croupier introduces the main event: a game of skill against the undisputed Speed Chess champion, ZE KLUTE!

Croupier: Ze Klute challenges all comers!

Sue: But he’s only twelve!

Meanwhile, Servalan is auditioning for a part in Eyes Wide Shut.

Sue: She’s got a lovely figure but she could do with a space bra. And she’s sitting on the Liberator‘s sofa. What are the chances of that?

Servalan is accompanied by a man named Jarriere, or, if you happen to be Sue, Leo Sayer meets Pinocchio. And then Krantor turns up…

Sue: Have you spiked my drink again, Neil?

Krantor runs Freedom City.

Sue: This is what Liberace would have looked like if he’d supported Newcastle United.

GambitKrantor: They come to Freedom City because we are outside the Federation.

Sue: Is Freedom City like Sun City?

Me: Well, it isn’t a Queen-free zone, if that’s what you mean.

While Krantor and Servalan hatch their nefarious plans, I can’t help but notice that Sue’s jaw is still resting on the floor.

Sue: The set is so tacky, I can’t take my eyes off it. It reminds of The Generation Game. This scene will be repeated in a minute, but Brucie will play Liberace’s part and a grandmother from Rotherham will play Servalan. Just you wait and see.

When Servalan leaves, Krantor reveals his plans to his assistant, Toise.

Sue: No, this isn’t camp at all.

Me: It’s probably the campest thing ever broadcast on British television. Gambit makes Are You Being Served? look like Threads.

Sue: What is he wearing on his head?

Me: That’s K9.

Sue: Did they melt him down or something?

GambitMe: No, it’s John Leeson. The actor who played K9.

Sue: Oh, thank God for that.

Back on the Liberator, Avon convinces Vila that robbing a casino would be a bit of a laugh, even though it’s their turn to sit around doing nothing in the teleport room all day.

Sue: That’s not like Avon at all. That’s completely out of character. Avon would never be that stupid. Would he?

Orac says he can shrink himself down to the size of an iPod.

Vila: Talk is cheap.

Avon: It means he doesn’t believe you, and neither, as a matter of fact, do I.

Sue: Join the club, love!

Orac shrinks to an eighth of his normal size.

Sue: That is ridiculous. However, I’ll go along with it because a) he’s easier to dust and b) they can take Orac on missions now, so he can be a proper member of the crew for a change.

GambitMe: And you can stick a pair of headphones in him and listen to Michael Bublé.

Travis is drowning his sorrows in The Rink.

Sue: My mum and dad met in a ballroom called The Rink. He spotted her at a table, walked over and said “Are you dancing?” When she stood up and said “Yes!”, he said “Good, I can have your seat then.”

Blake, Jenna and Cally are hanging around Paradise City’s nightclub scene.

Sue: What’s with all the Christmas tinsel? Did they film this episode during the office party, because that would explain a lot.

Me: It does look like a post-apocalyptic school disco.

Sue: I’ll tell you what, though: Cally suits this sexy new look of hers. She’s turning into a right space babe.

Meanwhile, back in the casino, Ze Klute faces a new challenger.

Sue: Oh look, they’ve dragged Bill Oddie off the set of The Goodies.

Thrylce – yes, that’s his name – plays a mean game of chess.

GambitSue: I’ve just realised what this episode reminds me of.

Me: Ketamine?

Sue: No, The Hunger Games. OK, so it’s chess instead of running around a jungle shooting baboons with arrows – this is the BBC we’re talking about – but the costumes are very similar. They dress like pampered idiots in the Hunger Games as well.

Ze Klute beats Thrylce easily.

Sue: I’ve just remembered why chess isn’t an Olympic sport. I don’t care how fast you ****ing play it, it’s still chess.

When Thrylce loses, he pays the ultimate price: death by electrocution, which means he vanishes in a puff of smoke, obviously.

Sue: Have they hired Paul Daniels to do their executions for them? Because that looked like a magic trick to me.

Jarriere and Servalan discuss her plan to stitch Krantor up like a kipper.

Sue: They are simply summarising the plot. I’m waiting for Servalan to pull out a wall chart.

Krantor can’t be all bad because he own a cat. Oh, wait…

Sue: That cat does not want to be there. He’s clutching it so hard, he must have bruised the poor thing. I’d call the RSPCA if the poor thing wasn’t already dead.

Me: Actually, I think Aubrey passed away quite recently.

When Travis describes Servalan’s companion as a “powder puff”, Sue raises her eyebrows.

Sue: That’s a bit harsh. And besides, Leo Sayer is the least camp thing in this. And that’s saying something.

GambitServalan and Travis have a very complicated relationship.

Sue: OK, I’m confused. Are Servalan and Travis working together or not? I can’t keep up. I’m sure they were shagging each other the other day. And where the hell is Blake? Has he got the week off?

Blake, Jenna and Cally finally make it to the bar.

Sue: Robert Holmes has definitely seen Star Wars, but instead of a bar filled with weird aliens, they’ve filled it with men who are dressed for a night in a sex dungeon. Now I know why you asked Gary to watch this with us. It all makes sense now.

She’s nodding towards Krantor’s leather-clad assassin, Cevedic, who is asking the barkeeper, Chenie, for the whereabouts of Kline/Docholli. Look, it’s complicated.

Chenie: I swear I don’t know where Kline is.

Cally: She was lying, Blake.

Sue: So Cally’s a mind-reader now. You know, I get the impression that Robert Holmes didn’t watch a lot of Blake’s 7 before he wrote this episode.

Vila takes on the Big Wheel.

Sue: Oh dear. I was expecting a massive wheel on a wall, with flashing lights and fancy controls. But no. It’s just a tatty roulette wheel that’s seen better days. That is very disappointing. And cheap.

Chenie helps Docholli escape from Freedom City.

Sue: There’s a strong Western vibe to this; it feels like we’re watching a cheap, ultra-camp version of Firefly. The surgeon is basically a geriatric Han Solo. Or Indiana Jones’ dad. I really like him. He’s definitely the best thing in this episode. I bet they kill him.

There’s a lovely moment when Denis Carey can’t get his coat on. Here, take a look:

[jwplayer mediaid=”8850″]

Sue: He’s such a pro, he just got on with it.

Me: It must have been five minutes to ten when they shot that scene.

Back in the bar, Jenna and Cally are causing a scene.

Sue: Are they pissed?

Cally: You slut!

Jenna: Ten-credit touch!

Sue: Because this is Blake’s 7, I thought that fight was real for a second. I wouldn’t put anything past Blake’s 7; it always feels like it could kick off between them.

The fight is, of course, a distraction, which Blake uses to sneak into the back of the bar.

Sue: Is Cally smashing Jenna’s head against the wall outside? The sound effects are terrible!

GambitServalan and Jarriere meet for cocktails and a quick recap.

Sue: Leo Sayer’s job is to sit there and have the plot explained to him. And thank God, because the plot is all over the place and it needs explaining. But everything has ground to a halt again. And who the **** is this guy anyway?

Vila is on a winning streak, but he wants to win more.

Sue: It’s not exactly Casino Royale.

Me: Actually, this does reminds me of Casino Royale, just not the one you’re thinking of.

Servalan has planted a bomb in Travis’ arm.

Sue: I almost feel sorry for Travis. He’s so inconsistent, it feels like we meet a completely new version of Travis every two or three episodes. And this is the nice, misunderstood Travis.

Travis: My arm! What have you done to my arm?

Sue: There’ll be hell to pay if Servalan’s interfered with his wanking hand.

Travis searches for the only man who can fix his arm: Docholli.

Sue: You should probably get that eye seen to while you’re at it.

Meanwhile, Blake, Jenna and Cally have retreated to the wedding reception from hell.

Sue: The irritating tinkly background music hasn’t gone away, even though they’ve left the bar. That’s weird. And really annoying.

Travis encounters Krantor’s leather-clad henchman, so he shoots him.

GambitSue: Aww, wasn’t it nice of the bad guy to tell Travis everything he needed to know before he died. That was so helpful. Thanks for that.

Blake finds Docholli hiding in the loading bay.

Docholli: What do you want from me?

Blake: One piece of information: the location of Star One.

Docholli: Then you’re going to be disappointed.

Sue screams.

Back at the casino, Vila – with a little help from mini-Orac – has conquered the Big Wheel. However, as he waits for his winnings, he agrees to gamble everything on a game of Speed Chess against Ze Klute. This development takes Avon by surprise.

Sue: Forget Star One, I’d rather watch these two having stupid adventures together any day of the week.

Croupier: Les jeux sont fait!

Sue: The problem is, everyone is trying to out-camp each other. The director has lost control of the actors.

Docholli removes Travis’ robotic arm.

GambitBlake: It’s all right, it’s not primed.

Sue: They’ve disarmed him.

Me: Very good, Sue.

Sue: He isn’t armed.

Me: Stop it, Sue.

Sue: He’s ‘armless.

Me: I hate you.

Travis snatches his appendage back.

Sue: Club Blake over the head with your arm! Go on, Travis, sink even lower!

Travis expects Blake to kill him. He’s wrong, of course.

Blake: Our quarrel is with the Federation, not with you.

GambitSue: But he tries to kill you every other week. What does he have to do? Does he have to murder one of your friends? Oh wait, he’s already done that. KILL HIM!

With Orac’s help, Vila manages to eek out a draw against Ze Klute.

Sue: Orac can’t be that good if he can’t beat a twelve year-old boy at chess.

Me: He isn’t a boy, he’s Deep Roy!

Sue: What, the porn star?

Avon and Vila rush back to the Liberator with their ill-gotten gains.

Sue: Avon pretending to be innocent is very funny. I’ve never seen this side of Avon before. I think I like it.

Cue credits.

GambitSue: I could have watched a whole episode of Avon and Vila messing about together. The rest of it got on my nerves. Too much talking and not enough action. The incidental music was horrendous, and once the shock of the costumes wore off, there wasn’t much else going on. Oh, and Blake has a soft spot for Travis. There, I’ve said it. It’s the only explanation that makes sense. He obviously likes being stalked by him. It must turn him on. Either that or he’s got a death wish.

The Score:

Sue: That was mental. I enjoyed bits of it, but there was way too much exposition. I mean, what did Blake actually do in that episode? I expected a lot more from Robert Holmes. It just didn’t feel like Blake’s 7 to me. God knows what Gary would have made of that. And now I bet we have to visit another person who doesn’t know where Star bloody One is. I’m right, aren’t I?

5/10

Before we go, a little housekeeping. I’ve decided that running two separate Twitter accounts for both the Wife in Space and Wife and the Blake has become a pointless and confusing waste of time. So I’m retiring the @wifeandblake account in a couple of days. If you don’t follow @wifeinspace already, you should subscribe to that account to keep up with any site updates (and the odd kitten photo). The Facebook pages will remain separate for now. Thanks.

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailers may include minor spoilers for the next episode.

Back
Next

Voice from the Past

I’ve kicked the habit, shed my skin…

Voice from the PastIt’s yoga night on the Liberator.

Sue: What the ****?

Blake has adopted the notoriously tricky ‘shitting crab’ position; Avon has put his back out.

Sue: Seriously, though, what the **** is going on?

Avon: These exercises of yours, Cally, do not appear to improve the temper.

Sue: Is Cally in charge of health and wellbeing on the ship? Have they finally given her a job title? Oh dear. And Avon needs to hold back on the mascara a bit. I know it’s 1979 but that is ridiculous.

Blake hears a strange noise.

Sue: I’m not surprised with his arse stuck up in the air like that.

Blake manually adjusts the Liberator‘s flight path, taking it away from a pleasure planet and towards an inhospitable asteroid.

Sue: They’ve traded paradise for a shit-hole. What a surprise. And why were they going to paradise in the first place? I thought they were supposed to be looking for Space One.

Me: Most people don’t know where Star One is; you can’t even say it properly.

The crew are perplexed by Blake’s mysterious behaviour.

Voice from the PastVila: You’ve always explained, given us reasons for things.

Avon: When he had any.

Sue: Mutiny! Mutiny now, for God’s sake! Here’s your chance to get rid of this dangerous egomaniac once and for all. Jump him!

Blake struts around the Liberator like he owns the place.

Sue: You have to lead by example, and Blake is a loose cannon who needs putting down. I can’t believe that they named a television show after this loser.

Jenna: Is he sick, do you think?

Sue: He was hearing strange noises less than five minutes ago, so WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Blake is having a nightmare.

Blake: Renounce. Renounce. RENOUNCE!

Sue: The Federation must have put something in Blake’s head when they were setting him up as a child molester, and they’ve only just got it to work or something. That’s my best guess.

Avon agrees.

Avon: It doesn’t make for the most dependable of leaders, does it? Random course changes to random asteroids.

Sue: Blake is damaged goods. Just drop him on the nearest planet. He’ll be OK.

Voice from the PastJenna lends her brainwaves in an effort to break Blake’s conditioning, but things go awry and all hell breaks loose. So much so, Avon has to karate chop Blake – twice!

Sue: Avon’s wanted to do that for ages.

Vila rushes in to restore normality, whatever the hell that is.

Vila: You’ve all gone mad! STOP IT!

This cracks Sue up.

Sue: Vila sounds like he’s their mother! That was hilarious.

Orac recommends eradication therapy.

Orac: Maximum five-minute treatment periods interspersed with one hour rest periods. Hence, minimum rehabilitation period of twenty-six hours.

Sue: If we have to go through that twenty-six times, I’ll be the one screaming.

Blake has been interfered with.

Sue: Is this why Blake has been such an insufferable dick all this time? Have the Federation made him act like an idiot on purpose? That would explain a lot.

Blake is strapped to a chair with, according to Sue, a Stanley Tape Measure stuck to his head. However, he still manages to convince Vila that Avon and Cally are the bad guys.

Voice from the PastSue: Vila is either really funny or really, really stupid. There’s no middle-ground with him.

Blake is acting very strangely.

Sue: Is he reading the script from a cue card?

Me: I think he’s supposed to look shifty in this scene.

Sue: I don’t think he can’t remember his lines.

Vila sends the Liberator back to Asteroid PK One-One-Eight.

Sue: Poor Zen. He doesn’t know if he’s coming or going.

Blake locks Avon, Jenna and Cally in the Liberator‘s yoga room.

Sue: Blake is basically Gan, but with better hair. Is there anybody on this ship whose brain works properly?

Blake changes into a space suit.

Sue: Ooh, that’s a big helmet.

Me: You say that to all the space terrorists.

Voice from the PastBlake teleports to the asteroid.

Sue: He’s landed in a children’s painting.

She sings Left Bank Two. Yes, she does.

Cally believes that Blake is being controlled by a telepathic transmitter.

Avon: If there is a telepathic transmitter, there must be someone down there to operate it.

Sue: If it isn’t Travis or Servalan, I’ll eat my hat. There was a time when just the thought of Travis and Servalan appearing in an episode was exciting, but not any more. It turns into a right shambles when they show up.

Blake enters the asteroid’s living accommodation. The lights and air supply have already been switched on. Back on the Liberator, Vila begins to panic.

Vila: That must mean there’s someone there. Mutants or… Blake? Blake? Blake!

Sue: Answer him, you twat!

Blake is menaced by a man with a beard. He leads Blake to a one-eyed man with a bandaged head.

Voice from the PastSue: WHO THE **** IS THIS?

It’s Shivan.

Sue: He’s a mummy in a curtain!

Shivan: Is he come?

Sue: Easy go!

You really have to hear the line to appreciate that, so let’s try again:

Sue: Easy go!

And then the camera zooms in on…

Sue: Peter Gabriel!

Gabriel is playing Ven Glynd, who framed Blake for child abuse, way back in the first episode. Way back. Get it? Oh, please yourselves.

Voice from the PastMe: Do you recognise him, Sue?

Sue: Yes, I think I vaguely remember him from the first episode.

Me: That’s probably because, even though they had to hire a different actor to play the part, they cast a man who looked exactly liked him.

Sue: Did they really?

Me: Did they bollocks.

Vila releases his comrades from the yoga room. Cally wants to know why Vila let Blake go.

Sue: To be fair, Avon and Cally have been known to flirt outrageously with each other, but Vila is such a dick for thinking the worst. They should drop Vila off on the nearest planet, too. He could keep Blake company.

Blake gives the crew a much-needed pep talk.

Blake: Look we’ve been on the run for a long time. But what have we achieved? Access to Federation ciphers that have been regularly re-coded; a raid on Central, an empty pretence; talk of Star One; talk of an alliance. Talk, talk, talk.

Sue: He’s right, you know. That basically Blake’s 7 in a nutshell. Talk, talk, talk.

Me: At least they’re addressing the fact that their so-called crusade has been hopeless.

Voice from the PastSue: That doesn’t really help the audience, though. Saying ‘we’re shit and we know it’ doesn’t make it any less shit.

Ven Glynd says he’s a reformed character, and he’s gathering evidence to bring Servalan down.

Ven Glynd: Surveillance report on Supreme Commander Servalan’s attempt to cheat the Federation of one hundred million credits in return for the supercomputer Orac.

Sue: If Orac was really worth one hundred million credits, you’d think they’d use him a bit more. They just leave him in a box most of the time. They definitely aren’t getting value for money. He can’t even do yoga.

Meanwhile, Servalan is talking politics with Le Grand, Governor of the Outer Gaul region.

Sue: Le Grand is basically an attractive version of Princess Anne.

The Liberator is hanging around in space.

Sue: That’s a beautiful model. Just look at the detail on that. Why doesn’t the ship look like that all the time?

Sensing a trap, Avon asks Orac to verify Shivan’s identity.

Orac: A voice scan is incompatible with that tracheal vent. But he conforms with records of size, weight and gender.

Avon: What about Ven Glynd?

Orac: Records confirmed his identity.

Me: But he doesn’t look anything like him!

Sue: Shock the monkey tonight!

Voice from the PastShivan possesses the telepathic transmitter that controls Blake.

Sue: Is he supposed to be French or German?

Sue lasts fifteen seconds before hysterical laughter takes over.

Sue: Wanna buy some pegs, Dave? Dave? Is that Dave?

I have to pause the DVD. She’s completely lost it.

Sue: Oh my God. I didn’t catch a word of that. You’ll have to play that scene again. God help us.

So we watch it again. And we still can’t understand it. Can you?

Sue: Dave!

She’s gone again.

Le Grand arrives on the Liberator via a shuttle craft. She tells Blake that the next leader of Earth must have a messiah complex.

Blake: Shivan.

Sue: Don’t make me laugh! The only thing he’s good for now is an advert for Injury Lawyers 4 U.

Le Grand wants Blake to lead them.

Sue: It’s obviously a trap, but it sounds plausible. If only Cally was telepathic, she’d know if they were telling the truth.

Voice from the PastBlake, Shivan and Ven Glynd hold hands.

Le Grand: The triumvirate, my friends!

Ven Glynd smiles.

Sue: Shock the Monkey. Hey! Hey!

Glynd and Le Grand plan to indict Space Command at a governors’ conference on the planet Atlay.

Sue: I know this is a trap, but I really want it to be true. It’s quite tense, this.

As the shuttle docks at Atlay’s conference center, Sue hums the Thunderbirds theme.

Sue: That model looks pretty good, but they aren’t half dragging this out.

Le Grand and Ven Glynd disembark at the conference center.

Sue: They’ve checked into a cheap conference hotel and now they’re wondering the same thing: where’s the swimming pool? And is there a jacuzzi?

Back on the Liberator, a man with a beard is knifed in the back.

Sue: That was incredibly realistic. Sometimes, this is the most realistic science fiction programme I’ve ever seen, and then you get rubbish like this!

Voice from the PastShe’s pointing at Shivan. And Shivan was Travis all the time.

Sue: I knew it! I bloody knew it was him!

Me: No, you didn’t.

Sue: I knew it was a trap – it was so obvious – but I’m disappointed. I wanted Blake to join the rebels. It would have given him something to do. Bloody Servalan.

Le Grand and Ven Glynd enter an empty auditorium.

Sue: Does this remind you of the university lectures you used to give on Monday mornings?

Me: Yes. And some of them were about Blake’s 7.

Sue: No wonder the turnout was so poor.

Servalan appears on a cinema screen. Ven Glynd really was a traitor to the Federation.

Sue: Shock the ****ing monkey! I did not see that coming.

Ven Glynd and Le Grand are ambushed by Federation guards. Le Grand is killed.

Sue: Execution by art installation.

Jenna and Blake escape to an anteroom with a wounded Ven Glynd.

Sue: (singing) Don’t give up. You’re not beaten yet. Don’t give up, I know you can make it good.

Jenna struggles to place a teleport bracelet on Blake.

Voice from the PastSue: Stick it on his ankle!

Travis teleports into the anteroom and Ven Glynd attacks him.

Me: I bet he wishes he had a sledgehammer.

Sue: Stop it, Neil.

Back on the Liberator, Avon smashes the telepathic control unit, which gets a big laugh from Sue, and Travis roars when Blake and Jenna escape from his evil clutches. Yes, he actually roared.

When Blake returns to the Liberator, he don’t remember, he can’t recall, he has no memory of anything at all.

Blake: What are we all standing around for? Our problem is to find Star One if you haven’t forgotten.

Sue: That’s right, Blake. Rub it in.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was frustrating. The plot with the Federation traitors was excellent; it kept me guessing to the very end. I really liked the political bits; the scene in the cinema was very creepy. But all that nonsense with Travis was ridiculous. But it was so ridiculous, I actually enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in ages. And the direction was a lot better this week, too. There’s probably a great episode struggling to get out of that mess. And if the next episode isn’t called Star One, I’ll have to kill you.

6/10

And if you think that’s mad, take a look at this video from the crazed minds of Clayton Hickman and Gareth Roberts:

Now, if somebody would edit some Blake’s 7 footage to the theme from BJ and the Bear, I could die happy.

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailers may include minor spoilers for the next episode.

Back
Next

Hostage

Stockholm Syndrome…

Federation pursuit ships have ambushed the Liberator.

Avon: Battle stations!

Sue: Their ship has a massive design flaw. They have to run across the flight deck to reach all the buttons they need to press. Why can’t Zen or Orac do that automatically? Avon nearly tripped over his own feet turning that force wall thingy on. At least he’s wearing a nice costume this week. It suits his personality, all those different shades of grey…

Me: STOP IT!

The pursuit ships keep coming.

HostageSue: They look like the X-Wings from Star Wars.

Me: No, they don’t.

Avon suggests that they escape through a mass of ionised particles.

Blake: Avon might be right. Tangent one eight. Go for it!

Sue: “Go for it!”? You’d never catch Jean-Luc Picard saying something like that. That’s funny.

The plan seems to work.

Jenna: We’ve outrun them.

Blake: Well done, Jenna.

Sue: Eh? What about Avon? It was his idea.

Vila slopes off for a nice glass of relaxant.

Sue: So Vila’s basically a morphine addict, now.

However, the pursuit ships are still on their tail.

HostageSue: What are Victoria Wood and a young Pat Butcher doing flying that ship? That’s a bit mental.

The pursuit ship’s commander is very pleased with his new detector shield.

Sue: Is he the new Travis?

Me: No, they haven’t recast Travis again. The second eye kinda gives it away.

Sue: I know that. I’m not stupid, you know. But since Travis turned out to be hopeless, have they got another henchman in to take over the role?

Me: It could be Travis’s two-eyed brother for all I know. I’ve never seen this episode before.

The pursuit ships prepare to engage the Liberator.

Commander: Attack in sections, Alpha section leads. Thirteen seconds between waves. Speed, time distort ten.

Sue: Time distort ten? They must be going faster than the speed of light, which means they would have to break the time barrier. That makes sense, I guess.

Sue has been watching the new series of Cosmos. Can you tell?

Avon: Zen, can we withstand an attack of this magnitude?

Zen: No information.

Avon: Thank you, that’s very helpful.

Sue: ASK ORAC!

The Liberator takes one hell of a beating.

HostageSue: So much for them having a shit-hot super-ship. For God’s sake, fight back! Fire a laser or something!

By some miracle, the Liberator manages to evade certain doom.

Commander: I thought we had them for sure.

Sue: Everyone except the script writer thought that, pet. I’m not impressed with Travis’s replacement. He’s just as hopeless as the other two.

Vila wants to know when Avon will fix the damaged detector shield.

Avon: Whenever we stumble across the parts I need.

Sue: They need a Space Halfords, or an intergalactic Quick-Fit. So is this is the plot for this episode, shopping for spare parts? I can’t wait.

Orac receives a message for Blake. It’s from Travis.

Travis: I am sending this from the planet Exbar. I have Ushton’s daughter. Her name is Inga, if you remember. Don’t worry, I won’t harm her. All I ask is come to Exbar and talk.

Travis offers to join forces with Blake.

Sue: Makes perfect sense to me.

Me: You actually trust him? But he’s a psychopath!

HostageSue: I know. He’d fit right in. I don’t trust him, though. He should join forces with Blake, but he won’t.

Travis: The girl is safe if you come to Exbar. Teleport at grid reference B W one three zero. If you do not come, the girl, regretfully, DIES!

Sue: I’m sorry, but his acting was atrocious there. So hammy. Maybe Travis is the sort of person who feels self-conscious when he leaves an answer phone message, so he over-compensates.

Blake and Avon discuss Travis’s motives.

Sue: I want to believe him, but Avon’s right, you’d have to be mad to trust Travis.

Me: Threatening to kill Blake’s cousin if he doesn’t make friends with him probably isn’t the best way to go about forging an alliance, either.

Sue: And why is Jenna drinking a glass of Lenor?

Meanwhile, Servalan is punishing an underling for yet another cock-up.

Servalan: Commander, I’m not interested in your excuses. You will surrender your ship and place yourself under close arrest.

HostageSue: She goes through henchmen like some women go through shoes.

Servalan knocks back a glass of green.

Sue: It’s all that Crème de menthe. She’s not thinking straight.

Servalan has a visitor. She welcomes him a beaming smile.

Sue: Her teeth are green! She should stick to gin.

Me: Do you recognise this guy?

I pause the DVD so Sue can get a good look at Kevin Stoney as Counsellor Joban.

Sue: He looks familiar…

Me: I’ve give you a clue: “Paaaaaacker!”

Sue: Oh yes, he’s very good. Does he become a regular character? That would be excellent.

Joban has some bad news for Servalan.

Joban: Some members of the council are concerned. Many of our citizens now know of Blake’s activities, and those of the renegade Travis.

HostageServalan: But there have been no public spacecasts on either Travis or Blake.

Joban: People talk, Servalan. There’s no way of stopping them.

Sue: Space Twitter is a bitch.

Joban makes a veiled threat: sort Blake and Travis out – or else.

Sue: I could watch these two all day. That was a great scene.

Blake prepares to teleport to Exbar. Avon warns him that he’ll leave him there if he gets into trouble.

Avon: You are still assuming that we will risk our lives for you.

Sue: Did Gan die for nothing? It’s sad, really.

Blake makes contact with his Uncle Ushton. Sue doesn’t recognise John Abineri as Hagar the Horrible, which will annoy Toby Hadoke if he’s reading this.

Sue: The director has a serious foot fetish.

HostageIt’s true. Vere Lorrimer lingers on Ushton’s limping leg for what feels like an eternity.

Sue: Why is it when they visit an alien planet, it always seems to be populated by two or three people. Where is everyone?

Back on the Liberator, Avon wants to teleport to Exbar.

Sue: (as Jenna) Let me finish this level of Candy Crush on my iPad, first.

Avon is down and safe.

Me: What do you think of their new silver spacesuits?

Sue: I’ve seen worse. However, if they stopped making new costumes every week, they could spend some of that money on sets and extras. Just a thought.

Ushton takes Blake to his cosy cave.

Sue: Ooh, that’s a lovely bit of wood. I’d love a table like that.

Travis has employed Crimos to do his dirty work for him.

Blake: Criminal psychopaths.

Sue: Aren’t Blake and his crew criminal psychopaths? Technically, I mean.

Me: It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose.

Avon arrives on Exbar, but instead of making contact with Blake, he spies on him instead.

Sue: What is Avon playing at? Has he finally had enough, and he’s going to use this opportunity to get rid of Blake once and for all? Is that it?

HostageServalan is en route to Exbar…

Sue: At least she’s travelling First Class.

Servalan is in a hurry to get there.

Servalan: This is an emergency; time distort ten.

Sue: Are their spaceships powered by steam? Because it sounds like they’re boiling a kettle when they distort time.

Vila joins Avon on Exbar. Avon warns him that they can’t trust Blake’s uncle.

Avon: He had a limp. When he went back into the cave he didn’t have a limp.

Sue: It’s the plot that’s limp, love.

Vila is freezing to death.

Sue: Whatever happened to their Millets jackets, the ones with the fluffy hoods? Did the product placement deal expire or something?

Vila: I’m freezing!

Avon: Well, freeze in silence.

Sue: Isn’t that a song by Depeche Mode?

Me: No, Sue, it isn’t.

Blake struggles to reach the top of the mountain.

Sue: This is just like Kilimanjaro, isn’t it, Neil?

Me: If Kilimanjaro was a small hill, yes.

HostageBlake is thrown down the mountain by a man in a gimp mask.

Sue: No, Blake, I am your father!

Me: So, you have a cousin!

Blake is hauled before Travis.

Travis: I am tired of being hunted by Servalan and the Federation.

Sue: It’s only been one episode!

Travis wants the Liberator.

Travis: It is the fastest, most powerful ship in existence.

Sue: I wouldn’t bank on that. They were almost blown up ten minutes ago.

Avon is captured in a large net.

Sue: Oh dear. That’s humiliating. If you have to stick someone in a net, it should be Vila. That way, at least it will be funny.

Travis backhands Blake.

Sue: He’s so over-the-top, it’s unbelievable. How anyone kept a straight face on the set is beyond me.

HostageTravis interrogates Ushton.

Travis: Who is the weakest?

Travis has Blake’s cousin, Inga, tortured so he can extract the information he so desperately needs.

Sue: She’s basically a cut-price Leela, isn’t she.

Ushton finally capitulates.

Ushton: The one they call Vila.

Sue: And Travis couldn’t work that out for himself? It isn’t rocket science!

Vila is interrogated by Travis. He wants to know how the teleport bracelets work.

Travis: All you have to do is talk. Demonstrate. Tell us the word.

Vila: I’m saying nothing.

Travis aims his weaponised hand at Vila’s head.

Travis: For the last time. Tell us the word. The word. The word. THE WORD! THE WORD!

HostageSue: Grease! Grease is the word!

Vila: Teleport!

Sue: Pause the DVD!

Me: Confirmed.

Sue: Are you seriously telling me that they didn’t say the word ‘teleport’ when they were trying to get a teleport bracelet to work? That never crossed their minds? I thought they were supposed to be smart!

Me: They got hung up on the word ‘energise’.

Sue: So what’s next? Travis waterboards Vila so he can find out what the capital of France is? It isn’t rocket science!

A Crimo teleports to the Liberator , taking Jenna by surprise.

Sue: If that wasn’t bad enough, she’s got a really bad case of bed head.

Avon admits to Blake that he told Servalan where Travis was hiding.

Sue: What an idiot. That isn’t like Avon at all. Allan Prior doesn’t know how to write for Avon. That makes no sense at all.

Jenna and Cally overcome the Crimo by teleporting him into space.

Sue: They did that to Brian Blessed, once.

Me: Unless I’m very much mistaken, they just did it to him again. It’s the same effects shot.

Travis is told that Inga has escaped.

Travis: GET HER!

Sue: This has turned into a bloody pantomime. I can’t take him seriously.

Ushton kicks Travis down a small incline.

Sue: Brilliant. Now just shoot him in the head and put him out of his misery.

Ushton goes back for Blake and Avon, but when they return, Travis has gone.

Sue: Un-***ing-believable.

Stuff happens.

HostageSue: The direction is very poor. I can’t follow this sequence at all. It’s a mess.

Blake, Avon and Ushton hurl some boulders at Travis.

Sue: And now it’s turned into The Goodies.

A fight kicks off.

Sue: Remind me, Neil, what do they pay Dudley Simpson for again?

The Crimos keep coming.

Sue: The director is losing light, and I’m losing the will to live.

A Crimo bounces down the mountainside.

Sue: It really is an episode of The Goodies!

[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”8397″]

Travis is eventually overpowered.

Avon: Why don’t we kill him while we still have the chance.

Blake: No. We’ll leave him for the Federation.

Sue: Oh, for ****’s sake! Not again! YOU IDIOTS!

HostageAll the Crimos are dead.

Sue: The director definitely has a foot fetish. And speaking of boots, I bloody love Avon’s.

Inga turns down Blake’s offer to spend the rest of her life as a wanted terrorist.

Inga: That storage room contains enough food to feed every starving mouth on this planet.

Sue: All three of them. It’s basically two tins of beans.

Inga is so grateful, she kisses Blake on the lips.

Sue: Steady on, Blake. I think that’s incest.

Travis meets up with Servalan.

Servalan: Has Blake gone?

Travis looks up at the Liberator.

Travis: Yes.

HostageSue: The ship looks as if it’s hanging a few inches above his stupid head. The director should have been shot for that.

Jenna appears to be in a mood with Blake.

Sue: Seriously, Blake. Incest?

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: I blame the director for cocking that up.

Me: It was a Travisty.

Sue: It started well, but it fell apart as soon as they reached the planet. Avon was completely out of character, the plot was flimsy and tedious, the direction was a joke, and Travis is doing my head in. No, I didn’t enjoy that one very much.

3/10

Before we go, here’s a link to Part One of Kevin Jon Davies’ Making of Blake’s 7 documentary that never made it to DVD. Stephen Greif is in it.

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailers may include minor spoilers for the next episode.

Back
Next

Trial

Crimes against television…

TrialSue: No Terry Nation this time. That’s a shame.

Me: Are you feeling all right?

Sue: Oh look, it’s Servalan’s house.

The Supreme Commander’s space station is very busy today.

Me: Do you remember them?

I’m pointing at Bercol and Rotane, who we last saw in Seek – Locate – Destroy.

Sue: Vaguely. They’re the bad guys, I think. I definitely recognise this guard, though. What have I seen him in before?

Me: The Bill. It’s Tosh Lines.

Sue: So it is. He’s very good. I like the way we’re getting a different perspective on things with these two guards. I hope they stick with that. It’s different.

Me: I say, I say, do you recognise this guy?

I’m pointing at John Savident.

TrialSue: I feel like I’m attending a police identity parade. Yes, he’s famous. Just don’t ask me what’s he’s been in. I haven’t got a clue.

Sue is more Walford than Weatherfield, although having said that, she doesn’t remember Brian Croucher as Ted Hills in EastEnders, either. It must be the eyepatch.

A trial is about to take place.

Sue: Are they going to charge Travis with incompetence, because he lets Blake escape ALL THE TIME?

Servalan briefs a woman named Thania.

Sue: Servalan is looking very beautiful today. I’ve noticed that Federation women are very androgynous. Maybe these two are lesbian lovers and…

I can’t bring myself to type the rest.

Sue: The courtroom set is nice. The costumes are very striking, too. They’ve spent some money on this one.

Travis is charged with the murder of over one thousand unarmed civilians. The defence requests that the names of all the victims be read out in court.

TrialSamor: Do you realize how long that will take, Major?

Sue: Oh no. This is going to be a fun episode.

Travis doesn’t bat an eyelid.

Sue: He looks like he’s going to have a power nap. I think I might join him.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator, Blake is knocking back the crème de menthe and bickering with Avon.

Sue: Is Blake still in charge? Has Avon taken over the ship yet?

Blake wants to teleport to an uninhabited planet for some serious me-time.

Avon: One of your followers – one of your three remaining followers – might have to risk his neck to rescue you.

Sue: So we’re back to Blake’s 3 again? Brilliant.

When Blake gently places his hand on Avon’s shoulder, Sue starts shipping.

Sue: Get a room.

Me: Get a Livejournal account.

TrialZen: Status is firm.

Sue: Yeah, I bet it is.

Jenna enters the flight deck in a pair of tight leather trousers.

Sue: Blake’s 7 caters for just about everyone when it comes to bums in tight leather. However, if Vila starts wearing PVC, I’m out of here.

The crew on the flight deck can hear Blake chatting to Cally in the teleport room.

Sue: Why do they have a baby monitor on the ship?

Blake teleports down to the planet.

Sue: Is this really the best time to go camping, Blake? And what’s in your man bag? A packed lunch? What the hell is going on, Neil?

Back on Servalan’s space station, Rontane and Bercol discuss the Supreme Commander’s plan to have Travis executed so he can’t testify against her at an inquiry that’s been set up to investigate the Blake affair.

Bercol: A Presidential stay of execution so that Travers can give evidence?

Sue: Travers? Who the **** is Travers?

Bercol: Servalan picked Travers.

Sue: He said it again! First they can’t get his face right, and now they can’t get his name right.

Rotane: Servalan’s ambitions threaten us all. And the President particularly dislikes being threatened.

TrialSue: Are they the President’s men?

Me: Yes.

Sue: What, all of them?

Me: That’s probably the worst joke you’ve ever made.

Sue: I’m sorry. I’m bored. When does this episode get going?

Blake has teleported to some undisclosed coordinates, which puzzles the Liberator‘s crew.

Vila: I wish Gan was here.

Avon: Oh, yes, of course. He would be able to work out exactly what was going on.

Sue: (laughing) That’s cruel. Gan’s corpse isn’t even cold yet. Funny, though.

Blake has left a message for his crew. In short, he’s given them an opportunity to abandon him on an alien planet if they really want to.

Sue: Blake is a terrible captain. He should hold regular team meetings for a start. He has to stop all this going behind their backs nonsense. He’ll never earn their trust that way. And he’s a coward, too. He should have had this conversation ON THE SHIP!

Blake’s self-imposed exile begins with him being squirted in the face. Yes, really.

Sue: Is he on Candid Camera?

Or Game For a Laugh if you’re under the age of 40.

Sue: Is a plant is pissing in his face?

Blake notices a strange creature hiding in the undergrowth.

Sue: What the hell was THAT? That was bloody weird.

TrialMeanwhile, Travis is relaxing in his cell when Trooper Par (try saying that quickly) arrives bearing gifts.

Sue: Why has he brought Travis some Hugo Boss aftershave? Is he trying to tell him something?

Par has a soft spot for Travis.

Par: You could always rely on him not to get you killed unnecessarily.

Sue: Unlike some people I could mention. Oh look, here he is now.

Blake is pursuing the strange creature through a jungle.

Sue: This is beginning to get on my tits, Neil.

The creature unnerves Sue.

Sue: What the hell is this? It’s a cross between Gollum, a chicken and a lizard. What a mess. This had better not be Gan’s replacement.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator…

Sue: THERE ARE TOO MANY PLOTS! This episode is jumping all over the place. Pick a story and tell it.

Me: Which of the three plots would you like to get rid of?

Sue: All of them.

The creature known as Zil educates Blake about the ways of the world.

Zil: Everything lives. The Host lives. To live is not enough for Blake and Zil. Blake and Zil woke.

Sue: I really can’t be arsed with this, Neil. This is dreadful.

TrialZil offers Blake something to eat.

Blake: What is it?

Zil: Life.

Sue: Lice? No thanks!

Me: Not lice. Life.

Sue: I can’t understand a word she’s saying. It’s nonsense.

Zil becomes more and more distressed.

Sue: It’s Lady Ga Ga on a bad night out.

Meanwhile, Avon has come up with a plan to save Blake from being eaten alive by the planet he accidentally went camping on, but can Cally pull it off?

Avon: It will be up to you to hit the main switch and complete the process. You’ll have to concentrate. He’ll appear and disappear in one short flash.

Cally: And if I miss it?

Avon: He’s gone for good.

Sue: Look at Avon’s smile. He’s almost daring Cally to miss Blake on purpose. That way they could all **** off and become millionaires.

Zil is eaten by the planet.

Sue: Who cares? This is ****ing dreadful. I’ve lost my patience with this.

Cally successfully teleports Blake back to the ship.

TrialSue: So what did that solve, exactly? It’s just proved once again that Blake is a hopeless, selfish leader. I don’t understand why Avon didn’t let the idiot die. He should demote him at the very least.

Back on the space station, Travis and Thania are arguing over who gets to make the opening declaration.

Sue: You know, it’s hard to take someone who looks like Alvin Stardust seriously.

Blake calls a team meeting.

Sue: Maybe he learned a valuable lesson, after all.

Blake’s plan is very simple:

Blake: A high-speed attack. A single strike run. We’ll be on them before they know and away before they can respond.

Avon: Where?

Blake: Servalan’s headquarters.

Sue: My mistake. He’s learned nowt. So who’s he going to get killed this week?

Travis addresses the courtroom with a damning defence of his actions.

Sue: Come on! Love-a-me too. Won’t you be my Coo Ca Choo?

Me: Eh?

Sue: It’s his black leather glove that does it.

Travis starts yelling and screaming.

Sue: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Meanwhile, Federation ships are approaching the Liberator.

TrialSue: Here we go. Finally, some action.

But the ships sail right past them, thanks to a detector shield invented by Avon.

Sue: That pretty much sums up this episode. Nothing is happening. Nothing at all.

Vila: They missed us! Avon’s gadget works!

Avon: It just occurred to me, that as the description of a highly sophisticated technological achievement, “Avon’s gadget works” seems to lack a certain style.

Sue turns to me and frowns.

Sue: Even Avon can’t save this episode. Come back Terry Nation, all is forgiven.

Servalan wants Travis dead.

Servalan: It really is a pity he’s got to die. He’s so much better than anything I’ve got left.

Sue: Why don’t they just make a deal? They are obviously lovers, so why don’t they just cover each other’s backs and get each other off.

Me: I beg your pardon?

Sue: The charges, you idiot. And then they can have sex together.

Travis is sentenced to death.

Sue: I don’t believe this. Blake is going to save Travis’s life, isn’t he? The idiot!

TrialTravis: The Federation is run by hypocrites and supported by fools. I’m glad to be rid of you all.

Sue: Travis would be a good replacement for Gan. In fact, I’m even more convinced that will happen. Blake’s got to get his numbers back up.

The Liberator fires on the space station, hitting the courtroom, but Travis jumps through a closing door just in time to escape the cold vacuum of space.

Sue: Wow. His jumping is almost as subtle as his acting.

Blake tells Zen to get them the hell out of there.

Sue: What? WAIT! Come back and finish them off! Two more shots and they’ll all be dead. What are you doing?

Travis makes his way to Servalan’s office.

Sue: It’s all kicking off, now. Better late than never, I suppose.

Servalan allows Travis to continue his pursuit of Blake as an outlaw.

Sue: What a load of shit. They could have set that up in the first ten minutes. What a waste of an episode.

Back on the Liberator, Blake and Avon are talking about Zil.

TrialAvon: I would quite like to have met this Zil of yours. It’s not often that one comes across a philosophical flea.

Sue: I told you it was lice.

Blake and Avon laugh their heads off.

Sue sticks her fingers down her throat and retches.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: I hated that episode.

1/10

Me: 1 out of 10? Are you on crack?

Sue: It was rubbish! Don’t tell me that you actually liked it, Neil.

Me: The bits with Travis were all right.

Sue: Are you on crack?

Me: Seriously, though. 1 out of 10? Really?

Sue: It irritated me. Blake didn’t learn a damn thing and this version of Travis is a complete joke. Even Avon bored me to tears. And as for all that crap with Lady Ga Ga? Forget it. I’ll give it a point for the costumes and the courtroom, and that’s it.

Me: Are you sure you’re feeling OK?

Here’s a picture of a kitten to take your mind off Sue’s score:

Kitten

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailer includes minor spoilers for the next episode.

Back
Next

Pressure Point

Gan’s gan…

Pressure PointThis episode immediately squeezes Sue’s pressure point.

Sue: Oh no! Terry ****ing Nation! Why, Neil? Why?

Resistance soldiers are being spied on from a cottage.

Sue: That’s quaint.

She quickly changes her tune when we enter the cottage.

Sue: Oh my God. What have the Space Vampires done to the place?

Her disappointment with the Federation’s restoration work dissipates when she realises that Travis and Servalan are in this one.

Sue: Is Servalan on her way to Ascot?

Travis and Servalan are preparing to spring a trap on Blake.

Servalan: I have waited for 18 days!

Sue: So Travis and Servalan have been cottaging for 18 days? I wonder how they passed the time…

Me: Stop it, Sue.

Pressure PointSue: Poor Servalan. She can’t tilt her head back because her hat will hit the back of her collar. That must be really irritating.

The resistance soldiers are blown to bits in the Forbidden Zone.

Sue: That looked all right. In fact, that was pretty horrific.

Meanwhile, Blake is preparing to return to Earth.

Sue: Here we ****ing go. About bloody time.

Blake wants to locate Control.

Blake: Two hundred years ago, when the Federation began expansion and conquest, the Administration established a computer complex to monitor information: political, civil, military – everything. That computer is the nerve center of all Federation activity.

Sue: Oh no. Not another computer. Hasn’t Blake got enough computers already? What does he want another one for?

Blake wants to smash this particular computer to pieces. Its destruction will throw the Federation into chaos.

Sue: There are no words to describe how stupid Vila looks this week.

Me: But you’ll have a go anyway.

Pressure PointSue: He looks like a JCB driver who’s been interrupted as he takes his safety jacket off.

Me: Right…

Sue: Apart from that, this is a good start. A rest has done Terry the world of good.

Servalan and Travis disagree about the best way to spring their trap.

Sue: I like the direction in this episode. Plenty of meaty close-ups. And this set must have been a nightmare to light. Everything is so white. No, it’s very good, this.

Blake wants to know if Avon will help him.

Sue: He’s got no chance. Look at Avon’s body language – arms folded, no eye-contact.

Avon: Well, of course. I am surprised you ever doubted it.

Sue: Eh?

Avon has an ulterior motive.

Avon: The resistance movements on Earth will launch an all-out attack to destroy the Federation. They will need unifying. They will need a leader. You will be the natural choice.

Sue: He wants the ship.

She guesses right.

Sue: You know, Avon is even more handsome when he smiles.

Pressure PointBlake: Could be you’re planning just a little far ahead.

Avon: Perhaps. But sooner or later, I will have my chance.

Sue: Ooh, you can cut the tension with a knife. I know it’s still early, but this is easily the best episode of Blake’s 7 so far. Don’t **** it up, Terry.

The Liberator enters Earth’s orbit.

Jenna: It’s been a long time.

Sue: Far too long. About eight episodes too long, actually.

Servalan has captured the resistance leader, Kasabi. The pair have previous.

Sue: Bloody hell, she just pushed Servalan over. I think Servalan’s hat must have unbalanced her.

Back on the Liberator, the crew are waiting for Kasabi’s signal.

Sue: There’s more than enough room for them on that sofa if everyone budged up a bit. There’s no need for them to sit on the floor like that.

Travis uses a truth drug to extract the details of Kasabi’s planned rendezvous with Blake.

Sue: I’m actually impressed with Travis this week.

Servalan gives Travis a smack when he tries to stop her from killing Kasabi. Sue laughs.

Pressure PointSue: And now I can’t take him seriously again.

Before she dies, Kasabi puts Servalan in her place.

Sue: She wasn’t a very good actress. That scene could have been so much better, but you can’t blame Terry for that. The script is really good.

Blake prepares to teleport to Earth. He tells Avon to put him down a mile away from the homing beacon.

Avon: What’s the matter, Blake? Don’t you trust your friends?

Blake: Of course. I trust them the same way I trust you.

Sue: Blake’s people management skills are horrendous.

Blake teleports to Earth.

Sue: Could Avon put Blake down in a tree if he wanted to?

Blake takes cover in some bracken.

Sue: There he goes, crashing about the place like a baby elephant. And speaking of baby elephants…

Gan is down and safe.

Me: Have you noticed anything unusual about this episode so far?

Sue: It’s really good?

Me: What about the music?

Sue: There isn’t any. Good, isn’t it?

Pressure PointBlake and Gan enter an abandoned church, where they find Kasabi’s daughter, Veron. She drops her gun and faints.

Sue: Was that supposed to be a toy gun? When it hit the floor it sounded like it was made out of wood.

Back on the Liberator, Avon is feeling jumpy.

Avon: I have a feeling that we are not being careful enough.

Sue: You wouldn’t get this half-cocked shit with Avon in charge. If Blake screws this up, Avon should make the crew vote for a new captain.

Gan treats Veron’s wounds.

Sue: Is it Gan’s turn to be the ship’s doctor? Was Orac teaching him First Aid last week? And where is Orac anyway? They never turn him on when it’s important.

Veron rests her head on the church’s muddy floor.

Sue: Teleport her back to the ship! Cally wouldn’t let her sleep on the floor like that. Come on, Gan, that’s rubbish.

Avon and Vila prepare to teleport to Earth. Vila doesn’t want to go.

Vila: I don’t feel well. I’m going to be a big handicap.

Avon: I’m used to that.

Sue: Vila only really works as a character when he’s stood next to Avon. They work so well together. I could easily watch a show with just these two in it. And Avon really suits oxblood leather. Just saying.

Pressure PointAvon tests the Forbidden Zone’s security system. A field of automated mines stand between them and the entrance to a blockhouse.

Sue: Just teleport right outside the door. Come on, it’s not rocket science.

Avon and Vila are teleported to the church a split second before the Forbidden Zone erupts in an almighty explosion. Avon isn’t surprised to discover that Blake was lying when he told him that everything was fine.

Sue: Blake’s gone rogue. You can’t lie to your crew like that. That must be the final straw. Bad Blake.

While Blake considers his next move, Veron leaves the church for some air.

Sue: Kids with guns; that’s not very nice. And either she isn’t what she seems, or she’s a really bad actress. Or maybe she’s both.

Blake alters his plan.

Blake: All right then, we teleport right up to the door of the entry blockhouse.

Sue: There you go! See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

However, before they can implement this plan, they are overcome by a gas grenade. Veron removes their teleport bracelets and does a runner.

Sue: Why isn’t the gas affecting her? Is she a robot or something? Listen, you can still hear the gas coming out of the grenade.

When Blake and his crew regain consciousness, they discover that they have been locked in the church with no means of escape.

Sue: They should put an extra bracelet on their ankles from now on – you know, for back-up – so this never happens again. I bet they won’t, though.

Pressure PointVeron has been doing Travis and Servalan’s dirty work under duress, and when Travis violently assaults the young girl, Sue rose out of her chair in anger.

Sue: ****!

Servalan: I’ll deal with her. You just bring me Blake.

Sue: Servalan looks like she’s auditioning for a part in a Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special.

Gan uses his strength to open the church door.

Sue: Gan actually did something useful for a change. Will miracles never cease?

Travis arrives at the church to find Blake gone.

Sue: I’m sorry but this Travis isn’t as good as the other one. This Travis is a bit silly.

Blake and his crew prepare to make a run for the blockhouse.

Sue: Fifty yards in eight seconds. That’s easy enough, although Gan might struggle.

Blake makes the first run. However, when Vila makes his dash, Gan decides to follow him.

Pressure PointSue: That’s Gan dead, then.

Incredibly, Gan survives.

Gan: I needed a pacemaker.

Vila: Me too. Implanted in my heart.

Sue: Love it.

When Avon makes the final run, he trips and falls.

Sue: No! Avon! No!

With a little help from Blake, Avon eventually makes it to the blockhouse.

Sue: Avon looked like an idiot, there. Vila should have been the one who fell over. Still, that was pretty exciting.

Our heroes descend a ladder which leads to the bowels of the computer complex.

Sue: The set looks great. This is much better than them running around some power station. The ladder makes the studio look enormous.

A few moments later, Blake’s crew descend another ladder, only this time the set has been bathed in red light.

Sue: OK, the ladder does look good, but it’s not that good. Actually, I should show this to my TV studio students.

Me: To show them how imaginative lighting can maximise your sets when you’re working on a tight budget?

Sue: No, I thought they could do with a laugh.

The crew come up against an electrified floor. However, just when you think they will have to turn back, they notice some handrails above them.

Pressure PointSue: Handy!

Unfortunately, one of these handrails snaps when Gan puts his weight on it.

Sue: That’s Gan dead, then.

Incredibly, Gan survives.

And then the ladder makes another cameo.

Sue: I wonder which colour will be next. I’m going with green.

Sue is biting what’s left of her nails when Blake finally reaches his goal.

Blake: We’ve done it! We’ve done it! We’ve done it! I’ve done it!

Sue: Interesting use of the word ‘I’ve’, there. Blake is a raving egomaniac.

But the room is empty. There’s nothing there. When Blake realises this, he collapses into Avon’s arms.

Sue: Blake has completely lost it. Time for Avon to take over, I think.

Travis arrives to explain the trap.

Travis: You see, it’s the great illusion, Blake. You give substance and credibility to an empty room, and the real thing becomes undetectable, virtually invisible.

Sue: That’s clever. I didn’t guess that. I just assumed that Federation security was rubbish.

Even Travis doesn’t know where the real Control is.

Sue: I bet Orac knows. Ask Orac.

Pressure PointAnd then Servalan turns up.

Sue: A dragonfly is tweaking Servalan’s nipples. I’ve seen it all now.

But that’s the least of Servalan’s problems.

Sue: Jenna may have out-smarted her, but she’ll never out-dress her.

Travis takes this turn of events extremely badly.

Sue: Every. Single. Time. I almost feel sorry for him. And even though he isn’t as good as the other Travis, he does have a very nice arse.

Blake makes a run for it.

Sue: Don’t forget to shoot Travis and Servalan in the head before you leave! Oh, wait, too late.

Servalan slaps Travis across his face. Hard.

Sue: Ooh, it’s all go this week!

Travis throws a strontium grenade at the escaping terrorists. And then Servalan and Travis run after it.

Sue: Don’t run towards the explosion, you idiots!

The roof comes crashing down.

Sue: That could have been directed a lot better. I didn’t really follow that. I thought it was Travis’s foot under that rubble for ages.

Pressure PointIncredibly, Gan doesn’t survive.

Sue: He can’t be dead. He looks fine to me.

As Gan slips away, Sue turns to me with a confused look on her face.

Sue: Is Gan really, really dead?

She’s so shocked by this, she doesn’t notice that David Jackson is still breathing heavily. And I’m not going to point it out to her.

Vila: Where’s Gan?

Blake: Gan’s dead.

Sue: Oh, I’m not that bothered. It’s sad, but he didn’t do very much. He was the most expendable member of the crew. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. Still a bit of a shock, though. I didn’t expect them to go through with it.

Me: I believe the original plan was for Vila to die.

Sue: Oh no. That would have been awful. And why did they have to kill one of them? Was the wage bill spiralling out of control?

Travis and Servalan are trapped underground.

Travis: They’ll dig us out eventually.

Servalan: Oh, yes. They’ll dig us out eventually. And then I’ll bury you.

Sue: What a brilliant line. Maybe Avon and Servalan should get together…

Me: Stop it.

Pressure PointAs the Liberator breaks orbit, Blake stares at Gan’s empty chair.

Sue: Gan bloody loved that chair. Blake will have to step down now. He’s gone too far.

Cue credits.

Sue: Poor Gan. They didn’t turn the music off, and they didn’t play a sad version of the theme tune on the piano, either. That is sad.

The Score:

Sue: That was excellent. Probably the best episode yet. I’m sorry that I didn’t say very much towards the end – I was enjoying it too much. The acting was a bit dodgy at times, but the regulars were great, and the direction was excellent, too. I can’t believe Terry Nation wrote that one. Well done, Terry. Why can’t they all be like that?

9/10

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailer includes minor spoilers for the next episode.

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Weapon

Travis 2: Electric Boogaloo…

WeaponThis episode begins with a space ship crashing into a planet.

Sue: Have we skipped a scene? Am I supposed to care about this?

There are two survivors: Coser and Rashel. They have faked their own deaths.

Sue: Are they from Gallifrey?

Me: No.

Sue: Well, they definitely bought their clothes there. It’s the only place in the universe where you can find collars as ridiculous as that.

Wait for it…

Sue: Is it the Master?

Meanwhile, someplace else, a one-eyed man, dressed from head to toe in black leather, is about to get a fright.

Sue: Who’s he supposed to be?

Me: Wait and see.

Sue: Why is this guy dressed as Travis? Has Travis started a fashion trend back on Earth? I’m confused.

Blake confronts the cosplayer.

WeaponSue: Eh? Why is Blake in a church? Oh, I get it: Blake is dreaming this and he’s mixed-up Travis’s face with Elvis’s face. That explains the quivering lip. Clever.

The Elvis/Travis hybrid murders Blake.

Sue: Blake must have eaten some seriously strong cheese before he went to bed.

An old woman named Fen arrives to chide the cold-blooded killer.

Fen: You’re a sad man, Travis.

Sue: Pause the bloody DVD, Neil.

Me: It’s not my fault. I didn’t recast him.

Sue: But he doesn’t look anything like Travis! Even the eyepatch is wrong. It’s too shiny. Why did the other Travis leave?

Me: I have no idea. Do I look like John Williams?

I press Play.

Sue: Please tell me that this old lady isn’t the new Servalan.

Travis: I want the other one.

Sue: Don’t we all, mate.

Travis: Get the other one.

Sue: Yes, for ****’s sake, get the other one!

And then another Blake appears.

Sue: So they’ve made some robots that look like Blake. How predictable.

WeaponWe cut to the Liberator, which means it’s time for Sue to pass judgement on what the crew are wearing this week.

Sue: Avon is popping out to deliver some chocolates to a beautiful woman on a boat; Cally looks like she’s been in the Liberator‘s sex dungeon with that gold collar around her neck; and thank God Jenna’s broaches aren’t any lower down. I wouldn’t have thought a dress like that would be very practical for freedom fighting. I just hope she’s wearing sensible shoes.

Luckily for them, Coser’s sartorial sense makes Blake’s crew look like catwalk models.

Sue: You know, I’m pretty sure Peter Gabriel wore that outfit when he was in Genesis.

Servalan arrives to chastise Travis.

Sue: Yes! She’s the same Servalan. That’s a relief.

Travis learns that Servalan was using him as a glorified Blake-detector.

Sue: Servalan always looks to me like she’s about to get married.

Travis physically assaults Servalan. She doesn’t seem to mind.

Sue: I’d have him shot for that. The real Travis wouldn’t do something like that. Who is this guy?

Meanwhile, Blake is planning his latest scheme to hurt the Federation. Avon isn’t impressed.

WeaponAvon: It is a triple-A security installation.

Sue: It runs on triple-A batteries.

Orac isn’t much help, either.

Blake: Orac, your information on the Weapons Development Base is unsatisfactory.

Orac: Define unsatisfactory.

Sue: Blake gets enough grief from Avon without Orac chipping in with his lip. I still think it’s unfair that Blake has to put up with two stroppy computers. Three, if you count Avon.

Meanwhile, Coser and Rashel find shelter in an abandoned dining room.

Sue: They’ve turned up for their Genesis tribute gig at the Student Union far too early. They haven’t cleared-up after the T-Rex covers band they had on last night.

Coser resents the position he’s been placed in.

Coser: They were trying to take the credit for my work. They were going to steal it right in front of me. As though I were so unimportant or stupid they didn’t even have to pretend it wasn’t happening.

Sue: He’s got a massive chip on his shoulder; I’m surprised there’s room for it with that collar.

WeaponServalan can’t praise the clone makers enough.

Servalan: They are a little awesome.

Sue: They may be awesome, chick, but I wouldn’t trust them to put my make up on. Look at the state of her face.

Servalan is surprised to learn that Fen is a clone too.

Fen: The child was identical in every way to the child that she had once been.

Sue: It doesn’t seem fair for them to be talking about identical looking people when this new Travis is in the same room. It’s very rude.

Me: What do you think of the new Travis?

Sue: It’s too early to tell. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t look or act like Travis. This isn’t Doctor Who, you know.

Blake’s clone doesn’t possess Blake’s memories.

Fen: We have given him some background knowledge, the beginnings of identity, and the basis of understanding.

Sue: Have they told him that he’s a convicted child molester, or did they leave that part out?

WeaponServalan: The Federation needs this man.

Sue: So Servalan’s got herself a toy Blake. Is this a sex-thing or a take-over-the-universe-thing? Or both?

Orac has some exciting news for Blake.

Blake: So something called IMIPAK is missing, together with a Beta class weapons technician named Coser.

Sue: IMIPAK sounds like something you’d shave your legs with.

Coser’s mood hasn’t improved since we last saw him.

Sue: I don’t know what his problem is. He’s stuck in a low-lit room with a beautiful woman who wants to be his slave, and he doesn’t even crack a smile.

Coser is a paranoid, aggressive, control freak with delusions of grandeur.

Sue: Am I supposed to care about this guy, because I don’t. If Blake saves this guy, I won’t be very happy. His companion can stay – she’s lovely – but he’s horrible.

Servalan is visited by Carnell, a brilliant Federation psychostrategist. The flirting is off the chart.

WeaponSue: WHAT IS SHE DOING WITH HER HAND?!

Carnell and Servalan want to steal IMIPAK from Coser.

Sue: Blake’s 7 is a very strange programme. On the one hand, you’ve got all this gritty terrorism going on, and on the other hand you’ve got camp scenes like this that wouldn’t look out of place in Dallas or Dynasty. It’s gritty glam.

Blake wants to get his hands on IMIPAK too, even though he doesn’t know what it is. Vila says he can live without it.

Blake: It’s just conceivable that you can’t.

Avon: Unless of course you want your last words to be, “So that’s IMIPAK.”

Sue laughs so much, I have to pause the DVD. In fact, from this point on, you can assume that Sue’s laughs at everything Avon says.

Sue: Avon gets all the best lines. I bet the rest of the cast hated Paul Darrow.

Carnell is so clever, he can beat a computer at chess.

Sue: If you owned an electronic chess set in the 1970s, you were seriously posh. I don’t trust this slime ball one bit.

WeaponCarnell: Always remember, the Officer Corps will forgive anything it can understand. Which makes intelligence about the only sin.

Sue: He reminds me of Francis from House of Cards, pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Me: I couldn’t possibly comment.

Sue: The only difference is I never wanted Francis to die a horrible, painful death every time I saw his face.

Coser is woken from his slumber by the sound of an approaching monster.

Sue: I can’t believe that he didn’t take his collar off before he went to bed. That won’t do his neck any favours. No wonder he’s in such a foul mood.

Coser and Rashel are attacked by a giant claw.

Sue: That claw has definitely been in Doctor Who. Don’t ask me what it’s called, but it’s definitely been in Doctor Who. And if it wasn’t in Doctor Who, it should have been. It’s right up Doctor Who‘s street.

Coser fires IMIPAK at the creature.

Sue: Your gun is rubbish, mate.

Oh no it isn’t. Death is just a button-press away.

Sue: OK, fair enough. I’ll give you that. But it isn’t very practical. What if someone came at you with a gun? You’d have to shoot them, put the gun away, switch on the box and then press the button. You’d be dead before you put the bloody gun away.

Blake’s clone arrives on the scene. Luckily for him, Coser is a fully paid-up member of the Blake’s 7 fan club and he welcomes the terrorist with open arms. He even has a present for him.

Clone: A gun?

WeaponCoser: Not just a gun – IMIPAK. It’s called IMIPAK: Induced Molecular Instability Projector and Key.

Sue: IMIPAK! Only 9.99. While stocks last.

Coser: IMIPAK!

Sue: I’m sorry, what’s it called again? I didn’t quite catch that.

Coser: This has a range of up to a million miles. Just think of it! You set the range here. If he’s within a million miles, you can kill a marked man anytime you want without even seeing him again.

Sue: It’s perfect for snipers who faint at the sight of blood, but the name needs work. What about Death Delayer 1000, or something like that.

Servalan arrives, dressed as the White Witch from Narnia. Avon, on the other hand, has teleported to the planet dressed as a lobster.

Sue: I’m not a big fan of lobster, but I think I’ll make an exception in this case.

Coser is killed with his own weapon. It’s called IMIPAK by the way.

Sue: Good riddance to bad rubbish. What a pompous git. Just think: if the real Blake had turned up earlier, this git would have joined the crew. What a nightmare that would have been.

Servalan shoots Travis in the back with IMIPAK when he’s not looking.

Sue: What a cow. Travis doesn’t know what’s hit him. Literally. It’s pretty good, this. So does Servalan get a decent henchman next week?

WeaponAvon, Blake and Gan storm the building, their guns drawn.

Sue: Avon has been practicing that. You can tell.

Me: They’re not Charlie’s Angels, but they’ll do.

Servalan has marked all three of them for death, so they do the only thing they can: they run.

Zen: The planet has been seeded with small proximity mines in random orbit. Detection was too late for a warning to be given.

Sue: This is why they need to leave Orac switched on. He can see this sort of thing coming a mile off. Can’t he, Neil?

Back on the planet, Rashel and Blake’s clone turn the tables on Servalan and Travis.

Servalan: I’ll see that you never leave this planet.

Rashel: I know. But make sure you do it from at least a million miles away.

Blake’s clone and Rashel want to be left alone.

Rashel: We could start to explore our planet.

Sue: And after that, we could start to explore, you know, each other.

The episode concludes with Servalan receiving an answer phone message from Carnell.

Sue: Even in defeat, he’s a smug ****.

Carnell: One last thing, Supreme Commander. I must tell you this…

WeaponSue: I really, really fancy you.

Carnell: You are undoubtedly the sexiest officer I have ever known.

This renders Sue speechless. The last thing she expected was a character trumping her in the ridiculous comment department.

Sue: Did he really just say that? I… I… Have you spiked my tea, Neil?

The Score:

Sue: Now that was more like it. It was insanely camp, but I enjoyed it. I’m not sure about the new Travis but Servalan is always fun to watch. The direction and locations were pretty good, and even though the acting was all over the place, it was never boring. I like Blake’s 7 so much more when the bad guys are actually involved in the plot. Yes, it was a bit silly, but I really enjoyed that one.

8/10

Sue: I love the idea that there’s another version of Blake running around, having a nice life. I wonder if we’ll ever see him again.

Next Time:

Warning: Glen’s trailers may include spoilers for the next episode.

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Orac

The Box of Delights…

OracA very sweaty Gan walks through a door on the Liberator.

Sue: I’d leave it ten minutes if I were you.

Gan is feeling unwell.

Sue: It’s probably the space curry he had last night. And is it just me or is Gan always ill?

Avon is summoned to a private meeting with Blake.

Sue: Oh no, Avon is wearing his circus costume again. This is not a good start.

Blake tells Avon about their most recent adventure.

Sue: Yes, he knows. He was there.

Blake’s recap includes clips from the last episode.

Sue: Does Zen film all their adventures for them?

Blake also tells Avon about Orac.

Sue: They didn’t have the iPlayer back in the 1970s, so I can see why it’s taking them five minutes to get everyone who didn’t see the last episode up to speed, but you’d never get that today. They didn’t have a recap at the beginning of Series 2 of House of Cards and it took three episodes for me to remember what the hell was going on.

OracJenna isn’t feeling well, either.

Sue: She’s far too young to be getting hot flushes, so it has to be the space curry.

Blake and Avon watch a replay of Ensor’s ship exploding in Deliverance.

Zen: The explosion registered one point three. Disturbance peaked at one one five.

Sue: The weirdest thing, which they haven’t mentioned yet, is that you can see smoke rising up. In space.

Cally – who Sue now regards as the Liberator‘s resident doctor – discovers that Avon, Vila, Gan and Jenna are all suffering from radiation sickness.

Sue: I’m glad.

Me: That’s a bit heartless.

Sue: They said the planet was radioactive – Zen made a big deal out of it last week – so I’m glad they followed up on that. I don’t want them to die. Well, not all of them anyway.

The Liberator heads to the planet Aristo in the hope that Ensor’s father possesses some space drugs. Vila throws up.

Sue: The Liberator must reek of vomit and diarrhoea this week. I hope the furniture is stain resistant.

OracOn Aristo, an old man is tending to his fish.

Sue: I hope he isn’t Orac. You can’t have a geriatric terrorist on top of everything else.

It’s Ensor Snr. and he’s not feeling very well.

Sue: Do you think Terry was suffering from IBS when he wrote this. Everybody is sick. I can imagine Terry writing this episode on the toilet.

Sue fails to notice Professor Yaffle in Ensor’s lab, mainly because she’s too busy staring at an old man’s naked chest.

Sue: He’s basically a decrepit Tony Stark, and he needs someone to jump-start him.

Ensor communicates with an unseen “colleague”, but Sue isn’t listening to him. She’s listening the background hum.

Sue: I suppose he needs a bee to pollinate his plants, but that would get on my tits if I had to work there. I’d want to swat it.

The voice belongs to Orac.

Sue: He sounds like he could be dishy. When do I get to meet him?

Servalan and Travis have arrived on Aristo to steal Orac.

OracSue: I can’t help it, but whenever I see Servalan, I always think of Marc Almond.

Avon is familiar with Ensor’s research.

Avon: He engineered and developed a lot of radical new concepts in computer technology, so that even the most advanced computers are based on his work.

Sue: He’s Bill Jobs.

Me: Yes, Sue. That’s exactly who he is.

Avon and Gan are saving their energy by reclining on the Liberator‘s deck chairs.

Sue: Where are they anyway? Is this the Liberator‘s spa room?

The planet Aristo has seen better days.

Zen: The level of the oceans is constantly rising and they now virtually cover all traces of the cities built by early civilizations.

Sue: A bit like southern England right now.

Zen: Life is evolving in the oceans. An amphibian species have begun to develop.

Sue: I bet it’s full of Sea Devils.

Back in the teleport room, Sue notices that the crew are running low on bracelets.

Sue: Lesley Judd should knock up some replacements.

OracYes, we watched Blue Peter‘s ‘Make Your Own Blake’s 7 Bracelet’ extra on the Series 1 DVD before we started this episode. Sue thought the piece was charming, and Lesley was a consummate professional when it came to handling sticky-backed plastic and silver foil, but she also thought the relationship between the two programmes was a little odd to say the least.

Sue: I don’t see how the BBC can target a show about a convicted child molester turned terrorist to children. Or maybe that’s just me. What’s next? Peter Purves shows you how to make a sawn-off shotgun from The Sweeney out of a washing-up bottle?

Blake and Cally teleport to the surface of Aristo.

Sue: They made a right mess of the Ready Brek effect. You’d think they’d be getting better at that, not worse.

Blake and Cally run straight into a force field.

Blake: It’s a force barrier. The question is are we on the outside unable to get in or….

Cally: On the inside unable to get out.

Sue: It’s a bit like Under the Dome, only less shit.

Travis and Servalan are deep underground.

Sue: I hope Servalan has stocked up on Vanish, because she’ll need it when she gets out of here. But why is she here in the first place? Why didn’t she just send Travis to sort this out with an army of space vampires. You wouldn’t see M chaperoning James Bond like this. Travis must be even more incompetent than I thought.

OracTravis explores a gap in a rockfall while Servalan waits nervously for him to return.

Sue: (singing) And now I’m all alone in bedsit land…

Servalan is groped by a lizard. Travis shoots it in the face.

Sue: Servalan had a little wobble, there. I’m surprised by that. First, Travis has a heart, and now Servalan shows her vulnerable side. What an odd scene.

Servalan crawls over the rocks, but the next time we see her she’s…

Sue: Completely spotless. Unbelievable.

Meanwhile, Blake and Cally are twiddling their thumbs on a beach when they are suddenly confronted by…

Sue: An Angry Bird.

The flying object instructs Blake and Cally to follow it, but not before it has demonstrated its firepower.

Sue: So far, Blake’s 7 has predicted Walkmen and Attack Drones. That’s not bad, actually.

Meanwhile, on the Liberator…

Sue: Avon is projecting liquid out of every orifice right now. At least he’ll never wear that silly costume again. He’ll never get the smell out.

A groaning noise is coming from behind the empty bracelet dispenser.

Sue: Gan just evacuated his bowels again. This is bleak.

OracBack on Aristo, Blake and Cally step into a transporter, although it does take them five minutes to find the entrance.

Sue: This is just padding. The script must be under-running for them to piss about like this. JUST GET IN THE BLOODY THING!

Me: It’s a portaloo, for christsake, not the monolith from 2001!

Travis and Servalan avoid more lizards in the tunnels.

Sue: That one looked really good, actually. When they don’t move and the camera doesn’t dwell on them, and you can barely make them out, the monsters aren’t that bad.

Blake and Cally meet Ensor.

Sue: The water in that fish tank is filthy. He needs a filter. What kind of computer genius doesn’t invent a filter for his fish.

Cally tells Ensor that his son is dead.

Cally: I’m sorry. He tried desperately to reach you. He did everything he possibly could.

Sue: (as Cally) Including trying to blow my head off.

Ensor gives Blake his supply of anti-raditation drugs.

OracEnsor: Can’t stand them, myself. Filthy things, drugs.

Sue: That’s why he’s growing space ganja: for medicinal purposes.

And then, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – Orac arrives. On a trolley.

Sue: So Orac is a massive Raspberry Pi. Well, I wasn’t expecting that.

Ensor bigs up his box of flashing lights.

Ensor: Orac has access to the sum total of all the knowledge of all the known worlds.

Blake: You mean it can draw information from any other computer without a direct link?

Sue: So it’s got wireless. Big deal. And if Orac is a computer, what does ORAC stand for?

Me: Orac doesn’t stand for anything. But you can stand things on Orac.

Travis and Servalan are still navigating Aristo’s tunnels.

Sue: If Servalan had any sense, she would have killed the son and brought the power cells directly to the old man, just like Blake has. She could have rang the door bell, walked it, and took it. Job done. She made this far too complicated for herself.

Travis blasts his way into Ensor’s base. Blake goes to investigate while Cally and Ensor beat a hasty retreat with Orac.

Sue: Orac is basically Wikipedia in a box.

Cally: Can you help me carry this?

Sue: (as Ensor) Yes, love. I’m having a massive heart attack but I’ll help you carry this massive box. Why the **** not.

OracFor the record, Sue didn’t notice anything unusual during the infamous “missing Travis” scene. But as soon as we finished this episode, we watched the extra feature where Vere Lorrimer and Stephen Greif explain just what the hell happened.

Sue: I thought the whole episode was badly directed, so I didn’t notice. Sorry.

Avon drags Vila out of his sickbed/deck chair. Vila smacks his head on a door. This gets the biggest laugh of the series so far.

Sue: That was brilliant. Poor Vila.

Avon snaps at Vila, when he really should be snapping at the person responsible for continuity, because an unconscious Gan keeps moving around the set.

And then Vila’s foot teleports into a puddle.

Sue: Avon and Vila make a great double act. I can actually see the point of Vila, now.

Ensor warns Cally about the lizards in the caves, but he doesn’t think they will harm them.

Sue: Yeah, but they will want to hump your leg. Just go with it and try not to shoot them in the face. It puts them off their stride.

Ensor drops dead. It was probably carrying that heavy box that did it.

Cally: Just a little longer and we might have saved you.

OracSue: Come and see what you could have won.

Blake and Cally leave Ensor’s corpse behind.

Sue: That’s right, let the giant lizards eat him. That’s nice.

Me: They have to save Avon, remember.

Sue: OK. Fair enough. Run!

Blake and Cally reach the surface, but Travis and Servalan are waiting for them.

Me: When I was eight years old, this was the most exciting thing I’d ever seen. And I’d seen Star Wars.

Sue: You were very easily pleased back then. Actually, nothing much has changed.

Me: I definitely knew that this was the final episode of the series, and that meant that anything could happen. I have incredibly vivid memories of this episode. Especially this bit.

Avon shoots Travis’s hand off.

Blake: Good shot, Avon.

Avon: I was aiming for his head.

Sue: That’s the best line in Blake’s 7 so far.

Travis’s hand is left in tatters. Again.

Sue: It’s back to space traffic for you, Travis. They’ll probably replace your hand with a large ‘Children Crossing’ sign.

Back on the Liberator, the crew prepare to switch Orac on.

Sue: Zen won’t be very happy about this. He’s seething with jealousy in the background.

Orac is even more unhelpful than Zen on a bad day, and after an exasperating conversation that goes round in circles, Avon throws Orac’s key away.

OracSue: That’s 100 million credits down the drain. Well done. Still, it was worth it to see Avon smile.

But Orac has predicted that the Liberator will be destroyed.

Sue: What’s Orac basing this on?

Me: The scripts for Series 2.

The crew watch helplessly as the Liberator appears to explode on their scanner screen. Sue yawns.

Cue credits.

Sue: Oh, sorry, was that it?

The Score:

Sue: That didn’t do anything for me. Some of the performances were nice, and Avon was brilliant as usual, but what was it about? Terry just banged that out. Yet more filler.

5/10

Me: Are you mad? That was the season finale!

Sue: You try telling Terry that. I mean, what actually happened? They found another unhelpful computer, they let Travis off with a warning, and they got some half-arsed premonition about something they’ll definitely avoid next time. So what?

Next Time:

This weekend, we’ll take a look back at Series 1 and I’ll publish the results next Tuesday. If you want to ask Sue a question, you’ve got until Saturday morning to do so. Just don’t ask her which member of the crew she would like to see die first. We’ve had lots of those. The best question will win a signed book and postcard. Thanks.

Series 2 will then begin on Friday 28th February, so there’s plenty of time to catch up with the series if you want or need to.

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Deliverance

The weekend they didn’t play golf…

DeliveranceThis episode’s title causes some concern.

Sue: I hope nobody gets raped.

Me: I hope Dudley knows how to play the banjo.

A space ship is heading for the planet Cephlon.

Sue: We’ve definitely seen that space ship before. Am I supposed to remember that? Ooh, that was a nice camera move into the cockpit. Very ambitious.

Meanwhile, on a space station somewhere…

Sue: And this is Servalan’s space station. Do I get a prize for knowing that?

Servalan is eight minutes behind schedule, but she couldn’t care less.

Sue: Shouldn’t the stars in that window be moving if the space station is revolving? How hard would it be to set up a roller with some stars on it. Come on, pull your bloody finger out.

Sue gets her first good look at the space ship’s pilot, Ensor Junior.

Sue: Oh yes, he was in EastEnders. It’s Fat Pat’s husband, Ray.

Me: Roy, actually. Or Tony Caunter to his friends.

Sue: His co-pilot looks like Prince Joffrey. I’d better keep my eye on him, just in case.

DeliveranceThe ship is caught in Cephlon’s gravity well and Ensor struggles to maintain control.

Sue: The director is really trying here. There’s a sense of urgency that’s been missing from some of the other episodes. It’s not Douglas Camfield, but it’s close.

Just when Ensor believes that the worst is over, an explosion tears through his ship.

Sue: Aww, they went through all that rigmarole for nothing. Exciting, though.

This crew of the Liberator witness this catastrophe first-hand.

Avon: She’s entering the atmosphere. Beginning to burn up.

Sue: Avon has changed back into his sensible clothes, thank God. I thought he’d gone permanently insane.

Two escape capsules jettison from the stricken ship.

Sue: Are the capsules made by Samsonite? Have they diversified into this sort of thing in the future?

Servalan is extremely pleased with herself when she’s informed about Ensor’s “accident”.

Sue: She’s gorgeous. I bet Servalan had a huge gay and lesbian following.

Me: Straight men fancied her too, you know.

DeliveranceAvon prepares to teleport down to the surface of Cephlon.

Sue: It’s oven-ready Avon. But at least he’s getting involved in the action for a change, so I shouldn’t complain. I bet Avon had a big gay following as well.

Me: Yes, and straight men fancied him too.

I think I’ve said too much.

Avon, Gan, Jenna and Vila teleport to the surface of Cephlon to find the escape capsules.

Sue: Imagine how slow Blake’s 7 would be if they couldn’t teleport anywhere. Actually, that doesn’t bear thinking about. It’s not exactly racing along as it is.

When Sue spots one of the planet’s hirsute natives, she pulls out her virtual banjo.

Sue: Dinga ding ding ding ding ding ding ding.

The Federation space surgeon named Maryatt didn’t survive the journey, but Ensor did. Just about.

Avon: There’s nothing we can do for him here. We must get him up to the Liberator.

Vila: Will he live through the teleport stress?

Sue: Why don’t they just teleport the capsule back to the Liberator?

Me: Because you can’t wrap a bracelet around that capsule.

Sue: But what if they daisy-chained lots of bracelets together? Would that work?

DeliveranceMe: It’s a nice idea, but they’ve only got four bracelets left.

This week’s alien planet is covered in a light dusting of snow.

Sue: Do they ever go anywhere sunny in Blake’s 7? It’s a very cold universe so far.

Me: It’s probably a metaphor for something. Or they filmed this in the winter. You choose.

The planet’s natives appear to be restless.

Sue: They had better not make Avon squeal like a pig, that’s all I’m saying.

Jenna retrieves Maryatt’s ID from the wreckage.

Sue: I like Jenna, but she’s a boring character. She never seems to do anything, even when she’s actually doing stuff, she doesn’t really seem to do anything. Does that make sense? She’s just there. Terry can’t write for women. Actually, he can’t write for men, but you know what I mean.

Speaking of women who have nothing to do, Cally is chilling out on the Liberator with her Space Walkman.

Sue: Cally’s listening to Big Band Swing. There’s hope for her yet.

Avon, Gan and Vila teleport back to the Liberator with a badly injured Ensor. It takes a while for them to notice that they’ve left Jenna behind.

Sue: That’s the second time they’ve done that. How can they fail to notice when one of the seven are missing? I know that Jenna is a kitten fart in a parka, but that is ridiculous. It’s like that time you stranded all those students in Whitby because you couldn’t count them back onto a bus. It’s unprofessional at the end of the day.

The natives have knocked Jenna out.

Sue: Why are the Neanderthals searching her pockets? What are they looking for? Extra-strong mints? Her credit card? What?

DeliveranceWhile Ensor recovers in the Liberator‘s medical bay, Blake and Cally search through his possessions.

Cally: What are those?

Sue: They’re contact lenses in a jumbo-sized matchbox, obviously.

Cally and Blake examine Maryatt’s ID.

Cally: According to his ID he was a Space Surgeon in the Federation Medical Corps. He’s got a double-A security clearance! He’s got a pass for any area in Space Command!

Sue: If Roy is working for the Federation, they should let him die.

Me: That’s a bit harsh.

Sue: There’s a war on. Blake needs to toughen up.

Ensor: Tell him… Federation have agreed… all terms. Will pay… one… hundred million credits for… Orac.

Sue: Right. I know that Orac is the last of the seven because you named a hedgehog after him, so this is quite exciting now.

Me: What are you expecting Orac to be like?

Sue: I think Orac will be the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter, and the Federation will hire him to kill Blake, because Travis isn’t up to the job, and it’s going to cost them a fortune. But Orac will betray them and he’ll join Blake’s crew. There, that’s what I think will happen. What do I win if I’m right?

DeliveranceAvon, Gan and Avon teleport back to Cephlon to search for Jenna.

Me: Oh, that reminds me – Jenna is pregnant.

Sue: Oh no, what’s Gan done now.

Me: No, the cat is pregnant. Nicol’s been doing some research and Jenna is showing all the signs.

Sue: That means Blake is the father. That doesn’t feel right.

We think Jenna will give birth in the middle of Series 2, so stay tuned for that, and feel free to suggest names for the litter while you’re waiting.

Meanwhile, in Blake’s 7, Ensor has recovered enough strength to take Cally hostage.

Sue: You ungrateful sod. After everything she’s done for you. I knew they should have left him to die. The IRA would have kneecapped him by now.

Ensor instructs Blake to break orbit.

Ensor: Do it!

DeliveranceSue: It’s like that time he got really angry and told Pat that her earrings were shit. He’s quite a good actor, actually.

Back on Cephlon, Vila laments the fact that the Liberator has buggered off without them again. To be fair, it is becoming a habit.

Avon: That’s largely academic at the moment. Let’s hope they’re back on station when we find Jenna.

Sue: Paul Darrow’s monotone is incredible. His delivery of those lines should be ridiculous, but somehow it’s electrifying.

And then Travis turns up.

Sue: Things must be serious if old leather pants is involved. Servalan fancies Travis so much, she –

Me: STOP IT!

Travis’s handling of the Blake affair has resulted in a demotion for the former Space Commander.

Sue: He probably has to deal with space traffic these days. It’s a bit of a come down.

Servalan lets Travis into her latest wicked scheme.

Servalan: Ensor showed me plans of his father’s creation – Orac. It is a brilliant achievement. There is nothing else like it in the universe.

DeliveranceSue: Hmm. It sounds to me that Orac could be a robot. Like Data in Star Trek, or a Cylon in Battlestar. That could be interesting. And is Servalan drinking crème de menthe?

Servalan kicks back on her couch.

Sue: She’s like Don Draper, lying on a sofa, drinking on the job in the middle of the afternoon, plotting and scheming. It’s Mad Ma’am.

Servalan: It occurred to me that if Ensor didn’t get back in time, then in a very little while his father would die. So I took the precaution of placing a small explosive device in his ship.

Sue: What a bitch! She’s actually getting off on this. She’s definitely tipsy.

Servalan and Travis make a pact to claim Orac for themselves.

Sue: It’s like that time Michael Moon and Janine Butcher got together. Pure evil.

But even Travis has second thoughts when he learns that the space surgeon Servalan sent to their death was responsible for replacing Travis’s bionic space eye.

Sue: I knew Travis had a heart, deep down inside. He’s not all bad, you know. I know exactly how this will end: Travis will change his mind, he’ll save Blake’s life – killing Servalan in the process – and then he’ll join the crew. That’s what I would do if I was writing this.

The indigenous cavemen attack our heroes with a ferocity that borders on the comical.

Sue: This is a bit lame. It’s very Monty Python, don’t you think?

Me: They’re being stoned to death by the Time Bandits.

DeliveranceOur heroes find their way into an underground bunker, where a woman in blue dress bows down before Avon. Her name is Meegat and she has been expecting him.

Avon: Are you alone here?

Meegat: Yes, Lord. Everything is as it was written. One waits.

Sue: And now it’s turned into The Life of Brian.

Jenna has been taken prisoner by the natives.

Sue: Jenna has been kidnapped by Ronnie Wood. It’s not good, this. She’ll probably sprain her ankle, next.

Avon shows incredible self-restraint for a man who is being worshipped as a god.

Sue: Captain Kirk would have shagged her by now.

Me: Are you disappointed or relieved?

Sue: As long as he doesn’t punch her in the face, I’m happy.

The underground bunker houses the controls for a rocket that contains the race banks of Meegat’s people.

Sue: So it’s a giant sperm bank in space. Right…

Sadly, Jenna doesn’t get a look-in while this is going on.

Sue: Avon has been sidetracked by a beautiful woman, and now he couldn’t care less about the other beautiful woman he’s lost. Unbelievable.

Avon prepares to launch the rocket.

DeliveranceSue: Has Avon actually checked that Jenna isn’t trapped in that rocket? I know she isn’t, but he doesn’t know that, and she could have wandered in there by mistake. You know what this lot are like.

Avon decides to continue his search for Jenna.

Sue: Hallelujah!

Meanwhile, back on the Liberator, Ensor is losing the will to live.

Ensor: I’ve put the energizer onto automatic. If I let it go, it will spring back and the gun will fire. If I pass out, the gun will fire by itself. Now you make certain that I don’t go to sleep.

Sue: I’d stop talking if I were you, Blake; that’s bound to send him off. Ask Zen to pipe some Big Band Swing through the ship. That will keep him awake.

Avon and Meegat have a very special relationship.

Sue: They’re holding hands! Aww, that’s sweet. Although you could argue that Avon is taking advantage of someone who is obviously not quite right in the head. It’s a tricky one.

Gan warns Avon that he can’t get involved in Jenna’s rescue.

Gan: If it comes to killing, remember my limiter implant.

Sue: WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU, GAN?

Even Vila gets stuck in while Gan looks meekly on.

Sue: Gan is the biggest member of the crew, and yet he can’t do shit. They should ditch him the first chance they get. Just drop him off at a space circus. They’ll look after him.

Gan only gets involved when all the hard work has been done and Jenna is safe.

Sue: He’s giving these two cavemen a big drunken bear hug. “I really, really, really love you, mate!”

Limiter or not, the natives are easily overcome.

Sue: They’re so useless, I bet they couldn’t even make a pig squeal like a pig.

DeliveranceGan finally makes it back to the bunker.

Sue: I thought he was going to bang his head on the door on his way in. That may have helped him, actually. It could have dislodged the chip in his head that makes him such a waste of ****ing space.

Back on the Liberator, Ensor drops dead. But before he shuffles off this mortal coil, he makes his last, and somewhat curious request.

Ensor: The microcells… get to father…

Sue: **** you, mate! Blake should sell those cells to the highest bidder, and then he should dance on his bloke’s father’s grave, because he’s a **** and Blake is a terrorist. So there.

Blake: Zen, direct route for the planet Cephlon. Maximum speed.

Sue: What is maximum speed? Have we ever established that? I feel like I should know, but I don’t and it’s driving me mad.

Avon prepares to launch the rocket. According to Jenna, Avon is about to become a legend.

Sue: Don’t be daft. Avon was a legend long before he landed on this shit hole.

The rocket is launched, and then Avon instructs Zen to scan for suitable planets for it to land on.

Sue: Don’t you think he should have done that before he launched the rocket into space? For all he knew, he could have been firing it into a black hole.

Meegat is nowhere to be seen.

DeliveranceSue: Where the hell is she? They didn’t even say goodbye. What a load of rubbish. TERRY, YOU ****!

Blake asks Avon what it was like to be a god.

Avon: Don’t you know?

Blake: Yes. I don’t like the responsibility, either.

Avon smiles.

Sue: I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Blake. I think Avon loved it. I’d watch my back if I were you.

Cue credits.

The Score:

Sue: That was pretty good, then it was awful, and then it was quite good again, and then it was just irritating. Basically anything that involved the cavemen was rubbish, and anything that involved Avon and Travis was all right. I didn’t understand the plot with the rocket at all. It felt as if the episode was a set-up for something else, and Terry was treading water. I’m looking forward to meeting Orac, though. I hope he’s dishy.

5/10

Ask Sue

We’ve nearly reached the end of Series 1, and I want to evaluate how Sue is coping with the series so far. So if you’ve got a question you’d like to ask her about this series, or the next, please send it via our contact form. The best question will win a signed book and postcard combo. Closing date: Tuesday February 18th.

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